chapter  2
30 Pages

A. E. Denham and F. D. Worrell IDENTITY AND AGENCY IN MULHOLLAND DRIVE

MU L H O L L A N D D R I V E C O N F R O N T S the viewer withpersistent questions concerning identity. Its protagonists – the dual personae of Betty/Diane and Rita/Camilla – appear in different roles at different times and places, participating in different stories, and the identities of the characters with whom they interact are often similarly ambiguous. Just who are these people and how are they related each to the other? Are Betty and Diane numerically identical – one and the same woman – or different women with overlapping histories? If the former, why are they so radically different in their actions and attitudes? If the latter, why does the same actress play both parts? What of Rita and Camilla? If Rita and Camilla are one and the same, why is Camilla an entirely separate character portrayed by a different actress in the narrative’s first story? If not, again, why have the same actress play both parts in other episodes? And if Rita isn’t identical with Camilla, who was Rita before she is stricken with amnesia?