Saturday, February 28, 2009

Donnie Darko (2001)

The title of the film "Donnie Darko" is based on the name of the main character, an adolescent with a variety of mental problems, which he receives medication and psychiatric treatment for. After an experience in which Donnie is summoned by a figure, Frank, wearing a grotesque rabbit suit, Donnie is told that the world is going to end in twenty-eight days. The encounter with the rabbit saves Donnie from an airplane engine falling on his house and his bedroom, and this experience leads Donnie to trust the rabbit.

The rest of the movie is about Donnie's experiences with Frank, including the commands that Frank gives Donnie, and Donnie gaining an understanding of this world that does not match our own at all.

I enjoyed the movie - how we need to examine what Donnie experiences from what is real, and how Frank's commands to Donnie have quite far-reaching results on the secondary characters in the film, which are not all immediately apparent. I also liked how it emphasised plot and ideas over special effects, and made it, in my opinion, far better than most modern science fiction movie releases. That said, the special effects are decent, too - nothing stellar, but they further the story without detracting from the movie's ideas.

The main problem with this movie, in my opinion, is the ending. I don't want to go into the plot or spoil the ending, but I found that the ending lacked a clear resolution for the secondary characters that are involved in Donnie's life, and found it quite simlar to the endings of several movies with similar themes. Although we see that the secondary characters have a variety of problems, and these are seemingly resolved for good or bad throughout the movie, the end takes away these resolutions and leaves us with our imagination to figure out what the actual resolutions are at the end of all of this.

In spite of a less than stellar ending, I did enjoy the movie, and would recommend it to those whom like their SF movies to have more intelligence than what the current releases do. 4/5.

No comments: