Monday, August 23, 2010

Review of Donnie Darko: The Director's Cut

Beware the bunny... Donnie Darko is almost a classic!

There are two kinds of people who seen the cult classic Donnie Darko: the ones who buy or rent the Director's Cut having an excited feeling of having to see extra bits of one of the most divided movies of all time. And then there are this people who known the movie for a guy dressed in a bunny suit and are curious of who's in it.

Donnie Darko is almost a movie that person would enjoy by the time he's in a rental store looking for something really good to watch. That person is me.

The year's 1988 and the month's October. Donnie Darko is played by Jake Gylenhall who is a mentally disturbed teen who constantly sleepwalks in some mysterious place meeting up with his imaginary friend Frank who is a guy dressed as a rabbit. If there was any point into meeting this guy its that in 28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes and 12 seconds, the world will end.  From flooding the school to burning a house of a beloved person of his high school Darko intends to believe that and commit a series of crime that involves vandalism and pleasure for this teen as he obeys everything he says.

By the time I've reach the first moment of the film, I've realize that it's almost magnificent in its own. It seems like a generic psychological thriller and it isn't. The film blends in with teenage movies, science fiction, film noir and romance. So it's almost a mish-mash of genres.

IF you're thinking of watching Donnie Darko and after watching you thought the whole thing is surreal, think again. There are many ways of interpreting Donnie Darko and it is about the days of a disturbed person who's stuck in a conservative suburbia full of rich, snobby, religious people. The character is actually an intelligent prtson and yet people won't recognise it. His personality shows a lot of sections dealing with the deep blue angst of a person, waiting for something he really want. And director Richard Kelly thrives on bringing out these expansive ideas in the title character.

Almost every aspect is a head trip. When you enter Donnie's dreams, it's almost dark and trippy. It's almost informed by the cinematography that's almost excellent and robust, shot in a traditional style of camerawork. Even more incredible is the soundtrack that makes Massive Attack, INXS and Radiohead a hybrid that turns it into a highlight of the movie as well as the cover version of "Mad World" that is part of the highlight.

There are some quirky bits of dark humour that made me laugh like the first scene where everyone say the F word and Donnie telling his gym teacher to go shove his work up to her anus.

Donnie Darko brings in massive amounts of deep and emotional depths of the character not just in his mind and dreams that intends Darko of escapism but also around him that captivates multiple storylines and ideas and Jake Gylenhall is almost mesmerising. Gylenhall's performance is so unique its brings almost a nature of force and destruction to Darko.

The relationships with almost everyone surrounding him with his girlfriend played by Jenna Mallone, his family (his sister is played by Jake's real life sister Maggie) to his teacher (Drew Barrymore) and the motivational speaker (Patrick Swazye) are good. Everyone is good. The relationship between Donnie and Frank is almost simple. Frank's an imaginary character that manipulate Donnie into a sociopath. His appearance is almost the symbol of pessimism and death. Therefore all of the performances are bliss.

I don't how this was never widely released at the first place, but there was a conspiracy theory that the movie was limited released because of the 9/11 attacks which featured part of the plane crashing down killing everybody. But it was grateful that it was widely released in a director's cut.

Donnie Darko is a deep movie about angst and that will initially scare a living person and bends the person's mind. And it deservedly voted one of Australia's favourite movies 5 years ago and I got to say this. Bravo Darko. Bravo.


  1. Great review! I love your blog! I followed you, by the way (check out my blog too). Today, coincidentally, I bought this film on blu-ray. The last time I saw it was 2 years ago, and though I thought it was good, I didn't fully understand it. For the past two months, I've been thinking over it and I've had this desire to see it once or twice more. I'll watch it again and let you know what I think then. :)

  2. Nice review, friend! I was catching this on Netflix, but then i turned it off, because of sudden activies - i haven't gotten back to it yet, and, honestly, i feel lame for that. Your review's givin me motivation, man; i'll check it out in due time.