Having finished watching the second series of the Frost/Lynch TV phenomenon Twin Peaks, it was time to watch the prequel film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me
Surprised at completing the second series of Twin Peaks so soon, mainly due to the confusing episode numbering and impressed at the season finale that was centred mainly around the Black Lodge, it was time to see what happened to Laura Palmer in the last seven days of her life.
It was good to see the hard-of-hearing Gordon Cole (David Lynch) in the opening scenes of Fire Walk With Me alongside Chris Isaac and Keifer Sutherland, two FBI agents investigating the murder of Theresa Banks. David Bowie’s appearance was suitably vague and provoking.
Without wanting to provide spoilers, it’s perhaps better to sum up the overall feel of the film: dark, intense and disturbing, the characteristics of Laura alluded to during the first season of the TV series. Sheryl Lee played Laura with an energy that seemed to make her recognisable and not anything like Laura’s cousin, Maddy whom she played to a larger extent in the television series. It was probably for the best that Lara Flynn Boyle didn’t play Donna; her replacement playing a more innocent softer-edged Donna, giving Laura the room to amplify her dark and troubled character.
Original members of the Twin Peaks cast include Agent Cooper ‘Coop’ (Kyle MacLachlan), Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee), Leland Palmer (Ray Wise), Sarah Palmer (Grace Zabriskie), Bobby (Dana Ashbrook), Shelley (MädchenAmick) and Leo Johnson (Eric DeRa), James Hurley (James Marshall) and Norma Jennings (Peggy Lipton).
The film does go some way to explaining what happens to Laura in the last week of her life and the effect of ‘BOB’. There are also subtle signals that link what happens to Agent Cooper in the ending of the TV series to his visions in his opening scenes of Fire Walk With Me eventually going full circle to a happier resolution that finds himself and Laura in the Black Lodge by the end of the film.
Too much information? Probably.
If you have the time and dedication to watch both series of Twin Peaks, sticking through the difficult middle section of the second series which many feel loses its direction, then it’s highly likely you will get more out of watching the film. The ambiguity and underlying sense of unease that pervades all that goes on in the small town in North West America is arresting on lots of levels. You’ll be glad you got to know why Cooper arrived in Twin Peaks and the back story to Laura’s fate.