Diane sold her soul?
| Connection to "Angel Heart"
| Related: Hell
sign at Sunset Blvd. | Magician
= The Devil?
deals with the
This movie is about making deals with the devil. And when I say devil, I simply mean some form of supernatural evil. Demon, devil, pick your evil. What are the nature of these deals? Well, that varies, but the two examples that we see the most of is Rita/Camilla and Betty/Diane, and with them, they got new lives for their bargain.
There might be plot holes in both given scenarios, alright, but they
present possible interpretation nonetheless, since Lynch wasn't quite specific
in explaining his own vision.
Core to this theory lies with
declining that the first part in MD is to be taken as a dream. It rather
portrays alternate reality: Diane had Camilla killed and upon realization,
heartbroken, she meets a man with a black book. In exchange for a purse
full of money history will be redone to keep Diane and Rita in love - just
An elderly couple arrive at Diane's home, slipping through the cracks in
her door, they terrorize Diane, causing her to commit suicide, and commence her
rebirth. They fresh-faced
actress Betty exactly at the time Camilla is being killed on Mulholland
Dr. But this time the devil makes the hit goes awry and Camilla loose her memory
so as to allow her to reunite with Diane/Betty. They eventually fall in
love, as planned, but begin to discover the demons Diane has signed a pact
with. The love story culminates at Club Silencio where the devil
shows up to claim his part of the contract - Diane's soul. Hence the Betty and
Rita world collapses and Diane's soul descents to hell.
Rita starts the movie in trouble. At that point she's already made her deal with the dark side, as evidenced by the fact that she has her blue key. She is saved by the car accident, but also loses her memory of the key and her deal. Eventually she remembers enough to take Betty to Silencio and receive her box. Upon opening it, everything changes.
Now Rita is Camilla, and she has the life that (despite her apparent wealth previously) had eluded her before. Now how is this accomplished? By a fundamental reordering of reality. This is not "Hey kid, I'll give you a million bucks for your soul." kind of deal. This is a complete restructuring of existence. That is why elements are still the same (such as the director's divorce due to his wife's affair) while other elements are very different (such as Betty's shift to Diane).
And the shift to Diane is very important. Because aside from screwing poor Betty, it does something else. It puts her in a position of weakness and need. This in turn leads her to making a similar deal with the devil. When she is at the diner with the "hitman", she isn't asking to have Camilla killed. She's asking to have things changed. Maybe to the way they had been before, maybe to where she has all the wealth and adoration, but in any case, to a different reality where her life doesn't suck and where Rita/Camilla doesn't rub her face in the fact that she rejected her.
Yet in the end, another change doesn't serve the devil's purpose, as the bargains have already all been made. So Betty/Diane is pushed over the edge she was already teetering on by her elderly visitors and takes her own life.
Explanations for various points
and evidenc of the devil
Man behind the wall
man behind the wall
Smoke at Diane's bedroom
The old couple are
guiding demons sent by the devil. Their eerie, malicious laughing in the
limo, after they dropped off Diane in the Betty world, clues us into their
The Bum in the back of the restaurant: The evil entity behind it all. It uses others to make the deals and manipulate, but its in control.
Note the visual connection that's being made by transitioning from inside
the diner (where a deal has been settled between Diane and Joe) to the bum
behind the dumpster. He is the one unleashing the old couple, the
demons that come for collecting Diane's soul. Also, after Diane killed herself
the bum's face is superimposed on Club Silencio curtains. He is the power behind
The man in the diner that had the dream: It could be that the man picked up on the evil thing nearby. Either that, or he had made a deal with an intermediary of the thing and the dreams were foreshadowing of his fate.
The man behind the glass: An agent or an element of the force behind all of this. It is clear that he controls to
one extent or another the way terms to deals are met, such as in shutting down the director's movie and freezing his accounts.
Director and picking the "right girl": Two things are clear about the
Castigliane brothers at the meeting. They're both very feared by their hosts and they are not normal. In all likelihood, they are not even human, but regardless, they are pressing to get a specific girl the lead in the director's movie. Why? Likely because they are fulfilling a deal with the girl or someone close to her.
It's also clear that by the end of the movie, the director has gained continued success by giving in to the demands of the coffee man, who is now at his dinner parties apparently.
Club Silencio is the final
destination for all the people contracting with the devil. The Magician with
his goatee and the fork (cane) makes Betty realize that this was just an
illusion (ordered herself) and gives his victim a glimpse of hell
(convulsion) before the world eventually falls apart. A connection between
the magician and the devil figure behind Winkie's can be made via the blue
box that shows up in both places.
The otherworldy smoke and blue flashes
in Diane's bedroom after she killed herself signify Diane's soul decending to hell. After all,
the Magician vanished in a similar cloud of smoke and blue flashes at
Silencio. The unrealistic heavy smoke after the car crash on Mulholland Dr.
indicates the entrance into the alter reality where Camilla actually
survived the hit.
The dead body in the bed is Betty's former self, the near to end scene in which
she commits suicide is chronologically between the two time paths. Lynch has
simply reversed the two halves of the story, so that we discover the demons and
Diane's pact at the same time she does.
I personally believe that in Fire Walk With Me, Lost Highway, and Mulholland Drive are nuanced and varied takes on how people deal with supernatural forces. In FWWM, this took the form of possession, while in LH and MD, the issue is making deals. In LH, its primarily bad people making deals with the devil, and in MD, its primarily good people. Interestingly enough, it could be argued that the bad people come out better, but both sets are doomed in the end.
One final twist: Perhaps the entire movie takes place in Hell. This would account to the massive shifts in reality, as the characters are tormented and damned by their selfish desires and the failures that ultimately result from the deals they make. - (Tenebrae13)