of Rita, at least in the context of Betty, is again sort of a linchpin of the
film, because it sets up Betty as the protector and sets up Rita as the
defenseless person in need of protection. It's funny because that's not at all
what Diane's and Camilla's relationship is. But it's Diane's fantasy - she
gets decide of Camilla that she wants in real life.
Rita and Coco are very mirrored, in their clothing choice (red and black) and jewelry choice (always sorta pearl-based). I suspect this has to do with another sort of mirror. Rita is channelling Rita Hayworth, a dancer-turned actress from the Golden Age of Hollywood. Coco is being played by Ann Miller, a dancer-turned-actress from the Golden Age of Hollywood (one who had barely made any movies in the previous 40 years before this one). - (bsharporflat)
Related: Rita Hayworth connection
It is identity loss/switching/integration with the whole Betty/Rita dynamic. Rita is amnesiac for a good reason in Diane's dream mentality. She represents Diane not wanting to remember, and her lost identity: "I thought if I woke up, I thought sleep would do it, I don't know who I am." But later Rita takes over that confusion, representing Camilla taking back control: Silencio and turning the key in the blue box, ending Diane's dream illusion. Rita is Camilla/Diane together as one, representing Diane's wishes/confusion. - (MissLinda77)
As for the blonde wig, if Betty DID want to remake Rita in her own image, then this is even more proof of Diane's inability, even in a dream, to see Rita in any other terms other than those relating to herself. Maybe that is her way of trying to make it seem that Camilla actually feels the same way she does. We later find out that is not the case - Camilla is ambivalent towards Diane, as we see in the ratty couch scene where one second she's telling her "you drive me wild" and the next "we mustn't do this anymore". - (Zors)
Betty's love/affection for Rita is one-sided. Her declaration "I love you" is not returned. Also Rita wakes up saying, "No hay banda." Band also has significance of wedding ring, and therefore long term commitment and exclusivity and security, to stretch it. "We can be lovers, but there will be no commitment." Also, she switches sexual preferences, so "no band" is a lack of committing to the lesbian lifestyle per se, not just to Betty. - (Pamela Henrie)
So, the key scene in the dream is in bed, where Rita does not return Betty's expressions of love for her. And this is precisely where the dream starts to go out of control and come apart. After they make love, we see their faces merge (camera shot of them in bed). It becomes clear, though, in the whole context, that what's happening is that Betty is being absorbed by Rita. Note that right after this, Betty starts to lose control and become dominated by Rita as Rita practically drags Betty off to Silencio. Note Betty's facial expressions on the journey to Silencio: For the first time she's lost, frightened, out of control. More like Diane. Finally, back in the room after the discovery of the blue box Betty is the first to disappear, as she becomes completely absorbed by Rita. - (Dave H.)
Dreams within a dream?
If you pause the film when Betty drapes the red robe over the sleeping Rita in the apartment you can read the note that
Aunt Ruth pinned to it, at a quick glance it reads
"Enjoy Yourself Bitsie, Aunt Ruth", but it doesn't actually say 'Bitsie'. The name is 'Rita' and
'Bitsie' written on top of each other.