Movie Review: Donny Darko

By Moira Sullivan
Movie Magazine International
The directors cut of Donnie Darko by Richard Kelly was screened at the Venice Film Festivals a couple of years ago, a film I missed for sure when it was released in 2001 and one of those pearls like Blade Runner that just is haunting screening after screening. The setting is in the east coast, and itís the time when Michael Dukakis was running for president during the ME generation, when students stop the revolution and chant "Itís not my problem" when the news of the world is in their face. I met Dukakis cousin in Greece for many summers, who runs a corner market in Lesbos, and Michael a hero there. But in the nuclear family of Donnie Darko, they are going to make life difficult for people who will have to fork out bread for other peopleís national health insurance. No wonder Donnie Darko is dark with family values like that. On top of that an engine from a rather large airplane falls on their house. Donnie has narcolepsy and is visited by a strange rabbit who speaks about the end of the world and is bad bad bunny influence for Donnie. There are many bizarre happenings to the film and I am not sure I understand all of them or want to, because I just want to dust off my directors cut DVD released last year periodically and think about what it means for me this time.
Jake Gyllenhaal plays Donnie, a high school student that is on medication for schizophrenia and his sister played by Maggie Gyllenhaal tries to makes sure he remembers to take them. He also is seeing a shrink played by Katherine Ross. At his high school Drew Barrymore is a bad girl teacher with unusual teaching method for her young students, along with a motivational speaker and evangelist Patrick Swayze who also has a moral rap sheet. Then there is a 100-year-old neighbor, Roberta Sparrow who wrote "The Philosophy of Time Travel". These are some the characters that make this an intriguing film. Some of the shots are in slow motion with riveting music that makes it a visual and acoustic delight. Itís fun, and challenging and classically entertaining - meaning good for many seasons.

For Movie Magazine this is Moira Sullivan Stockholm SWEDEN

More Information:
Donny Darko
USA- 2001