Saturday, July 22, 2006

Donnie Darko

A search for meaning in our time.

I've just seen Donnie Darko on cable, the original movie, not knowing anything about it. Extremely intelligent and interesting movie exploring schizophrenia and time-travel, actually I did know that much before watching. The movie kept me engrossed. Supposedly, the expanded directors cut and all the internet sources move the movie away from schizophrenia more into religion and time travel.

4.5 out of 5 stars just for the interesting story-telling.

Donnie is indeed having problems. He keeps having hallucinations of an imaginary friend named Frank who happens to be a six-foot rabbit. Frank tells Donnie to do certain things, commit various crimes, which trigger other events and revelations. Frank warns him that the world will end in 21 days and Donnie has to figure out if Frank is a real entity from the future or if he's going insane. While strange acts of vandalism happen around town, his psychiatrist begins to suspect Donnie's involvement as she attempts to unravel his seemingly twisted mind with the help of hypnotherapy.
I should point out this is a reptilian Harvey, who becomes more disturbing as the movie progresses.
It's a rarity for a first-time writer/director to achieve such a polished film and Donnie Darko thrives in its richly written characters and unusual plot line. Kelly clearly loves movies - in the film's most cinematic moment, a time portal opens up on the big screen of a repertoire theatre during Sam Raimi's The Evil Dead. There are homages to Spielberg and Lynch throughout the film making it a movie buff's dream to hunt for those Easter eggs. The eerie soundtrack by Michael Andrews is highlighted with careful selections of 80s tunes - in fact, the Donnie Darko soundtrack yielded a huge hit in the U.K. - Gary Jules sombre cover of Tears for Fear's "Mad World". FAQ.
Wikipedia - very good.
Official website.
IMDB - Quotes.

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