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- Donnie Darko
- Runtime:113 min
- Release Date:2014-09-01 21:44:09
- Director: Richard Kelly
- Genres: Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller
MOVIE REVIEW:Donnie Darko
There comes a time in a man's life when he has to choose from the soup
or the appetizer. Donnie Darko (2001) is the main course. It is cooked
to a fine finish with a side of awesome.
This movie brings me back to a time when I would play in the oven and
pretend it was a space ship made of macaroni and cheese. I would fly to
the heart of my dog and feast on his ring worms. But in the end I would
have to choose to kill off the broccoli friends I made, or end my own
existence and return to a world of crime and Jews.
Donnie Darko (2001) is all about a choice between the death or the
sadness. What is the lesser of two evils? While it may be opinionated,
I choose the soup, because it is chicken noodle. And I love chicken
noodle soup. Especially when my great grandma makes it fresh right
before she squats down and spreads feces on the floor. "Oops," she
says. "I guess its time to die soon." And that is why Christmas doesn't
Richard Kelly's Donnie Darko is a triumph. A film that is a simple
character study at the start but evolves into a complex and thrilling
story that seamlessly mixes a coming-of-age story and a science fiction
based thriller all in one.
On paper this film is far to advantageous to even consider being made.
All of the characters are filled with turmoil and spend the majority of
the film brooding over what will happen next.
But to simply write this movie off as simple angst or the typical high
school movie wouldn't do it justice. These characters wouldn't work if
there wasn't a strong performance behind them. Every actor in this film
gives a stunning performance. In particular Jake Gylenhaal, Jena
Malone, and Drew Barrymore. If any woman was able to pull off a scene
where she screams the f-bomb for 20 seconds it is Drew.
The story here is completely unoriginal in base (angsty teenage boy
meets new girl at school etc.) but becomes original through concept and
through the science aspect that is quite skillfully weaved throughout.
From the opening shot to the ending credits you will find yourself
completely immersed in these characters, their individual stories, and
the overall tragic conclusion they are all absent-mindedly going
If anything can be said in defense for this film it should be it's
ending. Heart-breaking, somewhat confusing, but overall moving. The
song "Mad World" is used quite effectively in, what I consider to be,
one of the greatest and most human montages ever filmed. The movie is
great. Nothing I say in this review is going to guarantee that you see
it but I would highly recommend that if you have the slightest desire
to watch this you should give it a shot.
It is one of my all time favorite films and I believe that it deserves
repeated viewings. 10/10
This film is really a great accomplishment. It has started its own
movement and some lackluster mock offs (see Chumscrubber). I think the
film is best taken in as its constituent parts. There are some scenes
in this movie that really have a bite to them. They really stick out as
these great little vignettes. I'm thinking for instance of the first
dining room scene with the Darko family. Or perhaps when Donnie is
first hypnotized by his therapist.
The ebb and flow of the movie works great as well. The whole time
travel bit really fits in and gives the movie a spooky theme
Even more importantly may be the theme and impact of the movie.
Sometimes to put yourself in someone elses (or a type of person's)
shoes, you need to break out of the element of both you and that
person. In this case we're breaking out of our element into the movie
and out of the element of a troubled teen into one of a young man faced
with the issue of the fate of those around him and the paradoxes of
time travel. In a spooky kind of way this gives us the feel of what it
feels like to go through the early years of high school. Although it
doesn't look like it at points, it certainly feels like it. And unlike
many other movies, this really places us in that universe.
When I began watching this film, it had my full attention. I found it
interesting, I could even relate to the character of Donnie somewhat.
As the film progressed I was disillusioned, I found it harder and
harder to take seriously. And by the end I was really just wondering
how anyone honestly enjoyed this film enough to write an essay on how
great it was. Enough to call it "Spellbinding," "mesmerising,"
"powerful," "brilliant" and all the other labels people stick on their
Yes, personally I hated this film, its attempts to be 'indie,' its
narcissism, and its complete lack of originality and borrowing elements
from far greater films in its attempt to be the next Fight Club. I
really don't see how anyone could call this 'surreal' or 'sci-fi'
either. What also sinks my battleship is that it came out the same year
as Mulholland Drive (a FAR greater film), and all the would-be indie
guys and fat goth chicks gravitated towards the silver medal of
non-conventional film that year. (Not that I'd want them to grab
Mulholland Drive with their dirty dick-beaters anyway, it's just a
demonstration of how ignorant people can be).
I have nothing against people liking this film, as long as they have
valid reasons. And with this movie, they just don't. The reason people
like it is generally because they want something new but don't know how
to look beyond Hollywood. It is slightly different from the norm, and
yes the bunny adds a bit of salt to the same old charade, but at the
end of the day you're left with a mess of a film that can't decide
whether to be a sci-fi, drama, fantasy, surrealist, art-house or teen
movie with a director incapable of making such a retarded combination
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