First and foremost, Mulholland Drive is a dream driven movie with several mixed up Character names that add to the confusion. Here are two clues to help you understand what’s going on without spoiling the story. Let’s begin with the two main characters in the photos below.
1 Real names: Diane (Naomi Watts) on left, Camilla (Laura Harring) on right
2 Dream world names: Betty (L) and Rita (R)
The names are the easiest clue. When you hear the names Betty and Rita, you have entered the dream world. Next clue:
DIANE’S DREAM WORLD - You have to watch closely to catch the beginning of the dream sequence, but it is early on in the movie (hint – notice the red pillow). The dream begins with a car wreck on Mulholland Drive, and ends shortly after the visit to Club Silencio. Diane’s dreams are an elaborate series of fantasies which embrace her deepest desires and fears. Just like the Wizard of Oz, a fantastic dream constitutes the bulk, or over 2/3, of the movie run time.
This information is all you really need to enjoy Mulholland Drive. The filmmakers clearly went to great effort to give Mulholland Drive a complex structure, and searching for that true structure, or logical story, can be a lot of fun for movie lovers.