By Kelvin Murlatt (Rapid City, SD)
Upon hearing the title and having no clue about this movie you’d almost assume it was a superhero movie of some sort when in fact it is the complete opposite. The premise is about a teenager who is going through a lot of various things in his life; School, family and medical issues, and among other things seeing a six foot tall talking bunny rabbit named Frank. Sounds insane at this point? Believe me, it gets a lot crazier. Without giving too much of the plot away, Frank tells him that the world is destined to end soon and starts to persuade Donnie to wreak havoc around his hometown. This sets a path for him and intersects with the lives of the others around him as well. The big question though is; is it really happening, is he going crazy, or is it just a figment of his imagination?
What I truly value about this movie is that it really challenged me to think outside the box and try to expand my knowledge of what I already thought I knew. It questions what you believe in and dares you to think beyond that. Did I mention this movie was only shot in 28 days? That’s a pretty impressive feat for such an outstanding movie. Jake Gyllenhaal does a wonderful job as the titular character and among other things does a very good job at making Donnie relatable to you.
The rest of the cast does very well in their own right as well with other big names such as Drew Barrymore, Maggie Gyllenhaal, James Duvall, and the late great Patrick Swayze staring as well. Viewers will also appreciate the soundtrack that accompanies the movie as it features a multitude of fantastic tracks by popular artists which really set the tone well for the rest of the movie. Such artists and songs include; Echo and the Bunnymen – The Killing Mood, Tears for Fears – Mad World, Duran Duran – Notorious, and many others.
This movie provides an engaging plot and memorable characters that really stick with you once the movie ends. The movie is not without its flaws as there are moments where the acting kind of feels a little robotic and unnatural, as well as some characters feeling underdeveloped and not as relevant as others. However that being said, even though they are somewhat underdeveloped they still have their moments where they shine through in their own right.
Overall this movie provides many thought provoking questions and really challenges viewers to question themselves as well. A movie with wonderful themes and a soundtrack to match it. It’s interesting, funny, dark, and mysterious. Love it or hate it you can’t deny that Donnie Darko is a very thought provoking movie. I would recommend this movie to anyone who desires a mind blowing experience, and a trip to explore the unknown regions of their own mind to think about what they just experienced. Or if you’re just in the mood for a very good movie I’d definitely recommend giving Donnie Darko a watch as well!