Donnie Darko

“Whats the point in living I’d you don’t have a dick”

Review by Lewis Goodall

Donnie Darko, written and directed by Richard Kelly, follows Donnie (Jake Gyllenhaal), a troubled teenager who is being haunted by the visions of a man in a rabbit suit, called Frank. Frank gets inside Donnies mind and manipulates him to commit crimes.

Don’t be fooled by that concept, it sounds stupid but this is one the deepest and most thought provoking films I have seen in… ever. That was a very compacted version of the story because I wont be giving away any spoilers for this film for a few reasons which I’ll talk about. I’ll give a bit of the beginning and that’s it. So we start the film with seeing Donnie asleep on an abandoned road in the middle of bum fuck nowhere to which he then makes his home. He gets home and no one really reacts to him being away. Its early morning so we can assume that he sleep walks most nights. On the night of October 2nd, Donnie is awoken by voice, the voice of Frank. He follows his voice while asleep and is greeted by Frank who tells him the world will end in 28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes and 12 seconds. At this point a jet engine lands in Donnies room while he’s still outside. That’s it! That’s all you’re getting.

From there Donnie is plagued by Frank and the mystery of why the world is going to end. This is the first time i watched this film I put a review on hold so that I could watch the film again in order to really soak up all the juices this film was leaking. I’m gonna say that this film is a work of art, pure genius. I say it’s a work of art because of the many ways that this film can be interpreted. There’s many themes within the film which all equally work together up to the finale. I think its totally up to the viewer to interpret it how they wish and I haven’t really had that in a film before. Obviously there’s a lot of films that are mysterious and leave it for interpretation but they always feel a bit limited, it’s either one thing or the other, whereas Donnie Darko is different. There’s so many components that are just begging to be analysed and looked at in detail which is why I absolutely love this film. I didn’t know how to feel after I watched it the film time round, I felt strange but in a great way.

Apparently the directors cut of this film contains details that contain the answers to what you’re questioning and takes away the interpretation aspect so if you want all the details then watch that version but if you want a puzzle to ponder over then look now further than the theatrical cut.

There’s so many things I want to say about this film but I have to remember that this is a review and not a final test for film studies. I could honestly write so much in terms of how I interpret the story and what I get from it that it may take away from what you get out of it so I urge you to watch it for yourself. Actually I’ll give a bit cause why not, it’s my review I can say what I want, skip to the next paragraph if you don’t want to read but its here if you want. So as mentioned earlier, Frank talks about the end of the world. This film portrays the theme of personal worlds a lot in the sense that everyone in their own world is alone. We are all alone in how the world affects us. There’s many different characters in this film and we dip our feet into each of their worlds and what breaks them. Right… light spoiler section so seriously skip to the next paragraph if you don’t want spoilers. So Donnie commits crimes which ultimately lead to the destruction of some peoples worlds but in that good things come out of it. He burns down a house of a famous person but within that good comes out of it. I need to stop because I cloud talk forever about this film.

I don’t have much writing space left before this gets too long and boring so that’s have a compact paragraph of what other aspects of the film are like. Acting, check, everyone absolutely nailed it. Including Donnie’s parents who I loved. Music was incredibly used to bring all your emotions to the surface and perfectly bring chaos to a scene. Cinematography was also fantastic. So even if you find the story confusing, in terms of visually this film is such a pleasure to watch anyway so it worth it for that as well.

Right I need to wrap this up before I write anymore about this wonderful film. I think you can kind of guess where this is going. Just watch it already, if you read my reviews and enjoy the films that I also enjoy then just watch this film, right now, don’t even look at the score, just go watch it, if you want to puzzle your own existence and the choices you make on a day to day basis and how they effect the world around you in a negative or positive way then watch this film. If you want some insight to the way that smurfs probably have sex and their sexual partners then watch this film. Yep, every that gets talked about, many themes in this film.

9.5 Sad Clocks out of 10

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