BLUE VELVET, at its core, states a simple case: all things that appear good are only good in appearance; all things evil are evil through and through. You start with the over-Kodachromed shots of Anytown, USA, with its wildflowers, fire engines, and spotless sidewalks. You conclude with a chirping robin which is a puppet, and David Lynch makes no attempt to make it seem like it's anything but a puppet. In between these elements is evil: a severed ear, shootings, bloodied and battered people, and Frank Booth. This dark world seems much more real than the sunlit Anytown, and this is David Lynch's starting point.
BLUE VELVET is going to be unwatchable for many people: it's violent, it's graphic, it's "weird", etc. But if you get beyond some of the stylization, you will find this film to be a powerful indictment of American society gone mad. And as far as movie-making goes, this movie is a magnet for the eyes. This is a visual dans-macabre: stark settings and brash lighting amid the darkness; the contrasting colors; the sweeping camera movements just keep your eyes glued to the screen. Combine this with the brilliant performances of Kyle MacLachlan, Isabella Rossellini, and, of course, Dennis Hopper, and you'll find out why this film endures, even as it nears its third decade.
If you don't get this film, you will get a love letter from me. And you don't want a love letter from me. Do you know what a love letter from me is?