Adam Fields, Nancy Juvonen, Sean McKittrick, Christopher Ball (executive), Drew Barrymore (executive), Casey La Scala (executive), Hunt Lowry (executive), Aaron Ryder (executive), William Tyrer (executive) for Flower Films, Gaylord Films, Newmarket Films, Pandora Cinema
directed by Richard Kelly
starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Holmes Osborne, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Daveigh Chase, Mary McDonnell, James Duval, Arthur Taxier, Patrick Swayze, Mark Hoffman, David St. James, Tom Tangen, Jazzie Mahannah, Jolene Purdy, Stuart Stone, Gary Lundy, Alex Greenwald, Beth Grant, Jena Malone, Seth Rogen, David Moreland, Noah Wyle, Drew Barrymore, Kristina Malota, Marina Malota Darling, Carly Naples, Tiler Peck, Patience Cleveland, Katharine Ross, Lisa K. Wyatt, Rachel Winfree, Jack Salvatore jr, Lee Weaver, Phyllis Lyons, Ashley Tisdale, Alison Jones, Jerry Trainor, Joan Blair, Sarah Hudson, Fran Kranz, Scotty Leavenworth
written by Richard Kelly, music by Michael Andrews, special effects by Amalgamated Pixels, The Effects Group
Available on DVD !
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Teenage boy Donnie Darko (Jake Gyllenhaal) lives with his
family - mom (Mary McDonnell), dad (Holmes Osborne) and 2
sisters (Maggie Gyllenhaal, Daveigh Chase) - in typical smalltown America.
And as if that wasn't already bad enough, he's on medication and is in therapy (with
doc Katherine Ross) because his emotional
problems (which once prompted him to burn down a house) cause him to sleepwalk and constantly wake up
outside, and to have visions of
a giant rabbit called Frank that tells him the world is going to end
soon, among other things. And somehow small disasters happen around him, from
his school being flooded to an
airplane engine crashing into his bedroom (while he's out, fortunately).
Soon it seems clear to Donnie that
time travel is the key to all of this. Eventually, Donnie stumbles upon
an absent-minded elderly local, Grandma Death (Patience Cleveland), who has written about it all
when she was younger and even described the wormholes Donnie sees
emerging out of everybody like some liquid columns. Unfortunately,
besides his girlfriend Gretchen (Jena Malone), who with her mom is on
flight from her abusive stepfather, no one believes him - everyone just
thinks only more medication could be the solution to his problems, or
even phony self help guru James Cunningham (Patrick Swayze).
Donnie, at Frank's request, burns down Cunningham's house, and among the rubble evidence of that man's involvement in a
child porn ring is found and he is arrested. Despite this small
success for Donnie though, according to Frank the end of the world is still approaching - rapidly.
Eventually, at a Halloween party no less, Donnie thinks he has finally figured
everything out, with the world having a mere 6 hours to spare, and he and
Gretchen race to Grandma Death's house to avert disaster - but instead it seems
disaster strikes only even more fiercely ...
Drew Barrymore plays Donnie's
sympathetic English teacher.
Donnie Darko, a weird mix of
coming-of-age story, psycho drama, science fiction, fantasy, thriller, and
probably half a dozen other genres, has become a fan favourite/cult classic
almost instantly, first and foremost probably because it dared to be different
and unpredictable, and its tale of a weird misfit really struck a chord with
nerd culture. On closer inspection though, one has to admit that the film isn't
really the masterpiece it's often hailed as, its supported by a not very steady
narrative arc, many of its subplots remain sketchy and don't seem to serve much
of a purpose, and most of the characters, including Donnie himself, lack actual
depth. At the same time, the film works perfectly well as a trippy cinematic
experience where ideas are just thrown at the audience for the sake of
entertainment rather than philosophy, where things don't have to make perfect
sense as long as they manage to entertain, and where things should actually be
taken with a grain of salt, as if it was a secret comedy. And seen that way, Donnie
Darko is indeed perfectly enjoyable and bears re-watching just to catch all
the crazy details.