‘Donnie Darko’ (2001) film review

Donnie Darko, an atmospheric, wacky and very confusing psychological thriller that has a lot of theories behind what it actually all means. The film over the years grew a cult following, and I am one of those followers. I am going to explain my thoughts and review the movie in this article

Donnie Darko was released in 2001 and made about $7.5 Million at the box office. The film wasn’t really well known at the time it was released, but over the years it grew a cult following due to the very original and strange feel to it.

The movie is about a high school kid by the name of Donald “Donnie” Darko played by Jake Gyllenhaal, who is diagnosed with schizophrenia and needs to take medication and speak to a therapist. Donnie one late night, wakes up and sleep walks out of his home to find a man in a bunny costume who tells him he has 28 days until the world ends. Donnie finds out the next day that a jet engine fell into his room and no one knows where it came from. Donnie starts to look into time travel and it’s up to him to find out the truth.

I first watched this film 2 years ago and it became my all time favorite movie. The actor, Jake Gyllenhaal, is my favorite actor as well. In this movie, he pulls off the slightly insane and unstable teenage boy very well. You can tell he really got into the role.

The other actors in the movie such as Maggie Gyllenhaal, who is Jake Gyllenhaal’s real sister, plays Donnie Darko’s sister in this movie which makes the chemistry between them feel very real. 

Jena Malone, who plays Donnie’s girlfriend, also is very good in the film and they wrote her character just right to make you understand why she likes Donnie Darko as a person so much.

There is much more examples to talk about with the acting, but I would like to get into the story. The story is very well paced and honestly, you don’t really know what is going on in a lot of parts in the film, but that is what makes it so good. It makes you think a ton and wonder what it all means. It makes you more engaged so you’ll want to know the truth behind everything in the end.

You’ll eventually get very attached to the characters and story the deeper you look into it while you watch it.

The soundtrack in the movie is very fitting and gives off that very atmospheric and monotone feel to it. The directors cut, I have to say, is very unfitting with the music and it just does not fit with the scenes. But the normal cut is very good with the soundtrack.

This movie’s take on time travel feels very realistic because the character has a disease which makes what he sees in the movie somewhat understandable. In the end, you don’t really fully know how exactly Donnie came across the Rabbit named Frank and how Frank himself found out about time travel. This makes the viewer really think.

Overall, I personally really love this movie and believe it is very underrated, even with the cult following with it. It keeps you on edge and it makes you feel somewhat sad in a good way in the end when it’s over. Because you didn’t want it to end, because of all of the great characters and unexplained moments.

I’d give Donnie Darko a solid 10/10.

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