Director: Richard Kelly
Writer: Richard Kelly
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Holmes Osborne, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Daveigh Chase, Mary McDonnell, Jame Duval, Patrick Swayze, Jena Malone and more.
Requested Review from Erica McNatt!
I am excited to tackle a cult classic here with “Donnie Darko!” For a quick little breakdown of my history with the film; I watched this back in high school around its release time. With such a young and far off watch, I admit I do not remember much of anything about the movie besides bits and pieces. I basically sleight off anything I watched before 2010 as a young watch where I did not approach movies with the same mind that I do now. So as I said, I was quite excited to give “Donnie Darko” a watch with a brand new perspective. So without further delay, my Oberrated breakdown!
“After narrowly escaping a bizarre accident, a troubled teenager is plagued by visions of a man in a large rabbit suit who manipulates him to commit a series of crimes.”
I would say that summary is a very basic and loose telling explanation! “Donnie Darko” is truly a wild trip of a film. While I thoroughly enjoyed the twists and turns as well as the mystery and suspense of it all, I most definitely say this was a unique experience. To begin, the story is wild. It did plenty to keep me focused throughout the film however I found myself bored at times through some sequences. As I reflect on it, this “boredom” can easily be broken down with me just simply not understanding how some parts of the film fit in with the grand scheme of the story. While that is most certainly a fault of my own, I have to call a spade a spade. However, with that being said, I do say that once the movie was done, I was tempted to run it again because it is that kind of movie. This is not a movie to be a one and done. A lot of things happen for certain reasons and once the film is done, it all comes full circle which warrants that second watch. I can see why this has become a beloved film and why it has and needs to be viewed over and over.
Performance and writing wise, “Donnie Darko” is exceptional. There are many lines within the film that really stuck with me and to top it off, they are performed with excellence which puts the icing on the cake. Seeing ’01 Gyllenhaal and having this performance fresh in my brain now makes me appreciative of the work he has done since Darko. It also makes me want to revisit “Nightcrawler,” another film that I may have underappreciated at the time I saw it. Over time, maybe “Donnie Darko” will receive a higher rating with more views. Aside from Jake, everyone else is truly wonderful in their own right.
A quick note of appreciation goes to the haunting and thriller vibe given off during the “Frank” sequences. These truly set the mystery mood and provide a haunting environment as more information is given to Donnie about the “whys” of the film.
I see why this film is a cult classic and so beloved by many. It grabs hold of you and keeps you wondering while also drawing reflections onto today’s world. While I appreciate the ride and the experience, for my first “real watch” of this movie, I found myself lulling about on too many occasions and still just wondering “why?” As I said prior, I am sure with more views of the movie, those “whys” would be answered and I could appreciate the movie even more but I have to be fair with my feeling and response to my viewing. Otherwise, a great film that I feel like I will be revisiting sooner rather than later as I still have the events of this movie circulating in my head!
No copyright infringement is intended