Donnie Darko

Donnie Darko is a cryptic movie that left me with many questions. Donnie is a teenager who starts seeing a rabbit named Frank in his dreams. It tells him that the world will end in 28 days and he has to save it. As the days count down to the apocalypse, Frank gives Donnie superpowers and uses him to finish tasks such as flooding the school and setting fire to a house. All very random events that have nothing to do with saving the world. Confused by his visions of the rabbit, Donnie starts to probe into time travel as a possible explanation for everything. Will Donnie save the world from doom? How?

Donnie Darko is a puzzle of a movie. It is obvious that the director Richard Kelly has put together the pieces really tight, so it must come together to mean something. And so you ponder. Once I saw the ending, two possibilities were immediate. One is that the entire movie is Donnie’s dream just before the engine crashes through his bedroom. The other is the apocalyptic story, a line offered by the movie, but would require substantial evidence. There are lots of websites offering to explain the Donnie puzzle and I am still not completely convinced by the complicated but popular Tangential Universe theory.

Should you watch Donnie Darko? A definite yes. It is a carefully crafted gem and a joy to watch it all come together. Jake Gyllenhall as the troubled Donnie is his best performance that I have seen. The soundtrack is full of dark haunting melodies and it was the reason I discovered this movie. Some of my favorites include Mad World and Waltz in the 4th Dimension. So, watch Donnie Darko, start scratching your head and forming your own theories. 😉

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