Donnie Darko

||Genre: Sci- fi, thriller, drama||Year:2001||Duration: 2h53min||Stars: Jake Gyllenhaalm Jena Malone, Mary McDonnell ||Director: Richard Kelly||



2 Stars


A man disguised in a rabbit suit named Frank saves Donnie Darko by luring him onto a golf field where he wakes up to learn that a jet engine collided with his house. His room got the worst of it- if he had slept home that night, he would have died, in other words. The rabbit is thought at first to be an imaginary friend haunting Donnie( who has off-the-wall daylight visions) at every turn- that’s what he says to his psychiatrist which diagnoses him as a paranoid skizophrenic eventually.

In the night of the incident, when Donnie is lured onto the golf field by the mysterious giant rabbit, he is told that the world is to come to an end in 28 days, 6 hours, 43 minutes, 12 seconds exactly.

!Spoiler:    Everything that follows the inciting incident- the aircraft collision- occurs in a “tangent” (parallel) universe. Donnie actually dies in his room mashed up by the plane engine. The 28 days are his time to figure out what the heck is going on, get on top of it and straighten it out.


My take

I’m pretty much going out on a limb here, but I found this one to be thought-provoking at its best and prosaic on the whole.Happenstance is what seemingly dictates the course of events-which come across disjointed and can’t seem to dovetail.The story consequently comes over as strained for the most part.The acting is nothing to shout about either.

What’s more, not only is the story on the far-fetched side but you can’t make heads or tails of it without beating the bushes for further information outside the movie. Now, fine as a film that keeps you guessing may be, it is preferable that it be self-sufficient and gradually deliver the key answers. Can’t raise questions and just leave them hanging.Right? No dice. You’re pretty much left up in the air and forced to turn to the internet to get your head around what’s what.

The subplots were again spineless and struck me as mere fillers. The girl he falls in love with and asks to “go with him” in his own oddball manner. The irksome punks he seems to cross swords with. What’s the deal with those? Grandma death which proves to be an ex-teacher who had written a book on time travel that serves him well and comes in as sort of a game-changer. They lack backstory and they lack substance. They fail to raise empathy. The story isn’t relatable and the relations seem artificially intertwined.

All in all, I reckon the movie is pretty overblown and quite too glorified. Expectations are formed out of the gate and it then falls short of them. That said, it’s altogether worth watching and , if you ask me, its prime issue stems from trying too hard. Trying too hard to come over as philosophical and deep. It but goes overboard in its endeavour and what comes out is a tentative, inconsistent story.


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