- Richard Kelly
- Reviewed by
- José Ruiloba a.k.a. Morris
- Review date
- Thursday, April 10, 2003
Donnie Darko (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a weird teenager who has visions of a big rabbit that tells him things. The line between reality and fantasy soon gets blurry as those things start to become premonitions. Is Donnie’s mind playing games with him? Or is he really going through a supernatural experience? Meanwhile Donnie struggles to tolerate his big sister (Maggie Gyllenhaal), father (Holmes Osborne) and mother (Mary McDonnell) while he meets a beautiful girl (Jena Malone) that might actually understand him.
Donnie Darko starts interestingly enough. It has an eerie atmosphere that immediately attracted my attention. I also started to notice that the characters are a bit quirky, something I always love. Then strange things started happening out of nowhere and I was ecstatic. Just my kind of movie!
But wait, soon the movie started to become something else. A lot of characters were suddenly introduced as what can only be described as plot devices. More weird things continued to happen but they were more like headache-inducing. The movie’s tone started to vary to the point where I didn’t know what was going on or what director Richard Kelly wanted me to think or feel. Worst of all, the movie started to get boring.
And then there’s the ending. A sort of plot twist/revelation that didn’t answer a thing but actually left me feeling quite unsatisfied and lost.
That’s too bad, you know? Because Kelly got a first-rate cast that ultimately went nowhere. Gyllenhaal is good, but he’s played this role one too many times. His sister Maggie is a delight as always. Mary McDonnell is excellent and supporting performances from Patrick Swayze, Drew Barrymore, Noah Wyle and Katharine Ross are ok.
I guess the movie is about divine intervention, which is ironic because I think it could’ve used a little of that in the process of being made.
“Twenty-eight days... six hours... forty-two minutes... twelve seconds. That... is when the world... will end.”
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