In this tale of brutal love, murder, Elvis, and the Wizard of Oz we find Sailor Ripley (Nicholas Cage) and Lula (Laura Dern) running from their demons and parole. The opening scene is gruesome, eye-catching, hooking the audience into an intricately layered story of unexpected characters and naturalistic yet surreal scenes.
An interesting supporting cast gives Wild at Heart, directed by David Lynch, legitimacy though the story itself would otherwise come off somewhat ludicrous. Diane Ladd (Laura Dern's mother) plays Lula's mother; Willem DaFoe as Bobby Peru, Crispin Glover as Jingle Dale, Isabella Rossellini, and Harry Dean Stanton all depict remarkable roles that are unforgettable.
There is a plethora of nuances throughout the movie: colors of the rainbow flash throughout the film; a witch's hand moves across a crystal ball; the good witch visits Sailor, there is ample evidence of a fascination with Elvis Presley; and Lula clicks her ruby-red slippers together three times repeatedly. These are uncountable allusions that move the story out of its natural habitat and into existentialism.
Jack Nance has a cameo of a deranged visitor with an unusual monologue that is both frightening and insightful. The film follows a couple lost in love and fighting the backlash of a mother's deception. While the mother sends her loving crony to track down the two in New Orleans, she becomes increasingly impatient and deranged. She hires a hit-man and former love interest to kill both Sailor and her crony. Both lovers unravel their connecting past and truly understand their love for each other through the vulnerability of their absence.
This film is ground-breaking, a cohesive look into the chaos of humanity, the exploration of passion, and the unconquerable spirit of love.