DONNIE DARKO – REVIEW AND THOUGHTS

(No Spoilers)

**** This is the review of the Director’s Cut ****

I came across the plot of Donnie Darko on IMDb and I couldn’t take it seriously. The plot went like this:

“A troubled teenager is plagued by visions of a large bunny rabbit that manipulates him to commit a series of crimes, after narrowly escaping a bizarre accident.”

I was like “WTF?!!? Really? A bunny rabbit?”. The movie’s high rating surprised me. Recently, when a friend of mine told me that it’s really good, I finally decided to give it a chance. And I’m so glad that I did! Now it is easily among one of my favorite movies.

Donnie Darko is a movie that could go either way with people. That is, you will either just love it or simply hate it. That’s probably because it’s pretty unique and not for everybody. However, it has developed a huge cult following. And despite that, there are many who seem to think that it’s highly overrated or just plain bad.

Now Donnie Darko is indeed complex, tedious and even weird..but in a very good way. When you realize what’s actually going on in the movie, you are left spellbound. It makes you want to watch it again, and when you do, you unravel more and more. It’s like a big puzzle that needs to be worked out, in order to be appreciated. Given the complex nature of the movie, many people who tried watching it, basically gave up on it and moved on, having absolutely no idea about what they had actually missed. I’ve heard many people rambling about how much the movie sucks and how much they hate it. If you’re one of them, the reason behind your hate is probably the fact that you just couldn’t fit the pieces together. And when others tell you that, it pisses you off. Or maybe you live under the delusion that you actually did get it and it’s the story that is flawed. Plus the fact that the movie is so popular gets on your nerves and makes you hate it even more. With due respect, lose your ego and give it another chance. Watch it again and figure it out.

Talking about puzzles, every puzzle requires a certain amount of effort to be put into it. If you don’t put any/enough effort, you obviously can’t enjoy it. And as a result, when you find yourself unable to solve the puzzle, you tend to get irritated with it and therefore, you shun it. This is exactly what happened with people who claim to hate Donnie Darko. But when you put a lot of thought and finally do work out the intriguing puzzle that the movie is, you realize how truly amazing and beautiful it is. Although the story could have several interpretations, I personally felt that it was a hybrid of sorts between sci-fi and the concept of God.

Jake Gyllenhaal excels in portraying the character of a troubled teenager. The movie has several good performances, but Gyllenhaal is the highlight and he does his job convincingly. The soundtrack is LITERALLY mesmerizing and haunting, that blends beautifully with the narration. I freaking loved the hell out of it. Here are some brilliant tracks from the movie:

  • Mad World
  • Gretchen Ross
  • The Artifact and Living
  • Time Travel

Like I mentioned earlier, this movie is not for everyone. Don’t watch Donnie Darko if:

  • You’re not into the sci-fi genre.
  • You are the lazy movie watcher. That is, you don’t like to think a lot while watching any movie.

Bottom line:

Donnie Darko is profound, intriguing and a thought-provoking masterpiece, that stays with you. A must watch!

My rating:

4.2/5 (Mind-boggling)

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