Donnie Darko: Briefly

I can’t believe I’ve lived with myself for this long without seeing Donnie Darko.  Such a huge part of pop culture; a cult icon that I’ve heard about since it came out.  Things like this are what forced me into hibernation this past year!

Drama aside, I used my xbox 360 to hook into Netflix and watched Donnie Darko after I’d had (more than) a few margaritas with my friends.  At the end of the movie, I was confused and thirsty.  And scared of rabbits.  I went to bed, confused and thirsty.  And scared of rabbits.

I awoke with a headache.  My first thought after peeing a liquid that had an unmistakable Grand Marnier/Tequila odor was that I had to watch Donnie Darko again.  Surely, sober, I’d realize its genius and understand it completely.

“Cellar Door.”

What a great movie!  Entertaining, fun to watch, both scary and darkly humorous.  I’m so glad I watched it the second time!  I still didn’t get it, but I certainly liked it!

“Why are you wearing that stupid man suit?”

The third time around, I must have had on my thinking cap as my 2nd grade teacher would have said, because then I really started to grasp the idea.  I mean, I’m still not entirely sure that what I’m perceiving is what the writers had in mind, but I think it’s in the ball park.  And I truly enjoyed it.  Perhaps the ambiguity of the plot is my most favorite thing about it – it’s like one of those “you decide the ending” books that we had when we were kids (I always flipped to read the outcome of both decisions before actually deciding).  Ten different people can watch something like Donnie Darko, and they’d all probably pull different things from it.  It’s a movie that makes you look at yourself and question things around you.  That’s deep.  Not since The Shining has a movie made me so……perceptive.

And how about that music??  Wow.  Nice.  Mad World was soul shattering in that context.  Watching Donnie sit in bed and laugh…wow.  I can’t say much more without spoilers.

Overall, I give it a whopping 8.5 out of 10 points.  Very enjoyable, even if you don’t understand it the first time (or two) around.

-T. Ham


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