Donnie Darko

DonnieDarkoDonnie Darko (2001) – Originally written August 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***


In my mind, there are two films which you can always rely on to make you think for hours on end & which can confuse even the most clever mind. The first of these is K-Pax, the second of these is Donnie Darko.

It’s about this point where it’s worth attempting to explain a plot, but the thing is that this film has so many different interpretations, that I can’t help but feel that whatever I say can be questioned. So with this in mind, I’ll just simply state that the film is about the life of the title character Donnie Darko. Donnie behaves differently to everyone else whom you might consider “normal”, (explain this how you might – insanity? fate? genius?) and during this film we grow to really feel for him. Donnie, majestically played by Jake Gyllenhaal, is an amazing character & I must confess that whoever came up with the idea of this film must be a genius in his own right.

The thing which seems to appeal so much about Donnie is that at times, he’s just so obviously right. Theres a scene with one of his teachers, the infuriating Kitty Farmer (played by Beth Grant), and the way he reacts to her teaching is the way so many of us have wanted to act towards teachers/lecturers/etc over the years. Donnie recognises stupidity and rather than just tolerating it, he seems to condemn it and act against it. I think it’s quite possible that the world needs more Donnie Darko type characters.

The thing with this film (and be warned DEFINATELY do not read this if you don’t want to know things about the plot as it’s a BIG SPOILER) is that it seems to almost show two viewpoints. Many people think of it as some sort of time travel escapade, but in my view, it’s more a sort of inverted “It’s A Wonderful Life”. Gyllenhaal takes on Jimmy Stewart’s role in this version & whilst Jimmy discovered that his world needed him, it’s almost like Gyllenhaal realises that the world is better off without him. When I first saw this film, I considered that perhaps this film is some sort of ideal of what life is like once we die. What if when we die, to help us WANT death, we experience how our life would turn out if we lived. Anyway, in the end of the day, this is only my view of this film. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

YOU CAN CONTINUE READING WITHOUT MAJOR SPOILERS NOW. But you’re better off watching this film before reading any reviews anyway.

This film makes people think, it is dark, it has some superb acting in it & by far and away, it is one of the best films of the last 10 years. If you desire something thought provoking, watch this, if you desire something mindnumbing in which you can shut off to, watch “Pirates Of The Carribean” (I’ve reviewed that today too).

About T.Bonney

Northerner with a penchant for optimism and self-deprecating humour. London based for 14+ years now and still love it most of the time. Philosophical, film fan with tastes for beer, rugby, reading and more.

Posted on 03/02/2013, in 2003. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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