My sightly crazy "WI12/external Narrator" Theory

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My sightly crazy "WI12/external Narrator" Theory

Postby Aus » 20 Nov 2015

This might be a bit "out there" - and it's something I've thought about for a long time, so please bear with me, as I may actually forget to include something important and have to add it later..

Anyway. In this theory, the Woman in #12 (whatever her name actually is..) is the REAL main character. The whole movie (in a kind of Singing Detective style narrative) is happening inside her head - waking or dreaming, whatever -- as a mish-mash of wishful thinking, justification, guilt and blame for her unseen present (and I must assume unpleasant, unhappy) condition.

Therefore (much like Marlowe in Singing Detective), the character whose eyes and POV the whole movie is seen through appears absolutely nowhere in the movie -- because she is sitting "outside" the narrative and it's HER eyes through which "we" the audience are seeing everything.

"There is no band" -- ie, there is no "real" WI12 in the movie, she is outside the action, looking in, and changing (and changing again...) the 'script' of her most painful memories in order to alleviate her present emotional agony.

Everything we see in the film is truly "smoke and mirrors" BUT it's based in a horrible truth which, even at the film's conclusion, WI12 cannot bring herself to view directly. Instead, she wears the dual-faced character Camilla/Diane like a mask and moves her/them around like dolls -- or actors in the "movie" she is making out of her horrible memories.

This woman - who as "Woman in 12" in the movie - looks quite androgynous, is very likely also the "bum"/monster behind the wall at Winkies, the hapless "Dan" and probably in some regards, Adam as well. All of these characters share a certain "look" - dark hair, prominent nose - and it's possible that the "real" narrator (let's call her N) is projecting male aspects of herself into her fantasies through Dan and Adam (who also exist on a very real level, bits of which I think we do see when N's reality bleeds through into the film/fantasy.

Just to digress for a moment: I wrote a college paper many years ago now) on this exact narrative structure in the Singing Detective, pointing out a pile of subtle "clues" that make a very good case for the "narrator" (whose final "truth" is slowly revealed via a series of fantastical re-imaginings of various traumas in his life) depicted at the end NOT being the narrator we can see in those final moments, but one step beyond that, to somewhere outside the boundaries of the script. My professor, who'd taught the subject for years, had himself never considered this idea, but saw enough merit in the proof I offered to the theory that he gave me the highest possible mark for it (I'm not boasting here, promise -- just saying, this style of narrative HAS been done before, so I've not just pulled this theory out of my ass).

That said. I see a case for seriously investigating whether a similar structure has been employed in MD. Below, I'll outline in brief some of the aspects of MD that lead me to believe this may be the case.

1. The final scene. That's a biggie. We see Camilla/Rita and Diane/Betty as they appeared at Silencio, but no longer weeping. Superimposed over them is the Bum, in a direct parody of the film's opening scene with Betty and the old couple. Then we see the Blue Haired Lady (who MIGHT be the closest thing to "N" in the entire film) state to a theater that is now utterly silent and empty, "Silencio". But all this happens *after* "Diane" kills herself.

So whose POV are we seeing through, in this final scene? Maybe it's this mysterious "N", obsessed enough by her lover to have absorbed her character into herself -- which as we know, does happen in cases of severe obsession, where the boundaries of identity begin to blur for the one obsessed.

2. "Silencio" - there have been other discussions here regarding the use of Spanish language and names in MD. "De Rosa" is Hispanic, so is "Camilla", so is "Gonzales" (at #16). I've also seen discussions on whether there may be a more direct link between "De Rosa" and "Rhodes" (both names pertaining to the colour red or red-pink) other than that both characters being intimately (and unhappily) connected to Diane. What I mean is, BOTH "Camilla" (the super-idealised lover) and "WI2/De Rosa" (a less attractive. more domestic version of Camilla) may be not only aspects of each other, but of this "N", who beyond the smoke and mirrors is the one who has survived the trauma/relationship (and thus can continue to *have a POV, as outlined in point 1 above). Thus "N" is probably of Hispanic/Latina origin and very probably brunette.

3. Rita Hayworth. I absolutely think RH is the inspiration for the name "Rita" in the film because there's SO many parallels between RH's real life and the story we're being shown in MD. Which have probably been discussed at length already -- that RH won her way to fame via dancing, the way she was 'Anglicised' by name and her red/blonde hair dye, her romance with actor/director Welles. There's even a "Del Rio" in her story... Welles' beloved femme fatale girlfriend Dolores Del Rio, who was VERY vampy and Camilla-like, and who RH never did quite live up to. Anyway, RH plants the idea of a Latina woman turning into a fair-haired Anglo ---- which MD's Rita does, to some degree, in the movie.

Which makes me wonder whether "Diane Selwyn" might be a Latina-born "N"s stage name (if Diane is an aspect of "N" * as well as* a fantasy-character based on the object of "N's obsession) OR "Camilla Rhodes" is the stage name. I think there's cause to consider this because:

4. When Rita and Betty are looking up Diane's number, they call apt 12. And "Diane" answers. But later, we find out that WI12 and Diane "switched" apartments weeks before. So WHY is Diane's answering machine still in 12? Maybe it's because:

5. There was no swap. The swap is a lie -- and not to hide out, since WI12 directs people to #17 quite openly -- but because WI12 is not supposed to be in 12. She's supposed to be in another apartment-- the one with the dead blonde in it.

So maybe WI12 *is* Diane (in some way, at least). OR (I say with more confidence) she IS Camilla who killed her (blonde, Anglo) lover out of jealousy and is in utter denial. OR, in this theory, a mix of all of the above, in the convoluted mind of "N". It's possible that there was no "switch" -- W112 simply moved into Diane's apt after Diane's death, in order to absorb more of her existence/identity. Which MAYBE makes:

6. .....sense of all the doppelganger-ing going on, sense of the confusion between who is "really" who, sense of the names on the apartment list, sense of why Diane's machine's in 12, why the film continues *after* Diane dies, MAYBE sense of Louise Bonner's complaint of someone being in her apartment who won't leave, and a bunch of other stuff (pertaining directly to Lynch's "10 Clues" ) that I'll have to write about later, as I've got to go for the moment.

Please note, I'm not married to any of this-- it's just another theory to ponder and discuss. :)

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Re: My sightly crazy "WI12/external Narrator" Theory

Postby Aus » 20 Nov 2015

So in brief, I'm proposing that the entire film's narrative is the POV of an off-camera survivor of the events within, who is probably of Latin origin.

As it seems pretty plain that Wi12 is a de-glamourised version of Camilla, I can assume that she is likely a/ closer to the source-persona of Camilla than Diane, and b/ therefore probably also more closely aligned to this off-camera meta-narrator (or "N" ) than Diane and therefore c/ the story is not really Diane's or Camilla's, but that of N who is looking back on the events in her memory and "re-writing" them until she finds a way to release some of her pain.

And I think Wi12 is a good candidate for N, because she's a/ gay (or bi), b/ looks like she could be of Hispanic/Latin origin. c/ she (like, I believe, the actual N) is never actually named.

I think the Bum behind Winkies might be closer still to representing the reality of N.

But really, every character in the film is the product of N's mind, as she struggles to maintain the "smoke and mirrors" of denial by reinventing people and events into less painful versions of the truth.


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