After graduating from Emory University, top student and athlete Christopher McCandless abandons his possessions, gives his entire $24,000 savings account to charity and hitchhikes to Alaska to live in the wilderness. Along the way, Christopher encounters a series of characters that shape his life.
When their relationship turns sour, a couple undergoes a procedure to have each other erased from their memories. But it is only through the process of loss that they discover what they had to begin with.
Donnie Darko doesn't get along too well with his family, his teachers and his classmates; but he does manage to find a sympathetic friend in Gretchen, who agrees to date him. He has a compassionate psychiatrist, who discovers hypnosis is the means to unlock hidden secrets. His other companion may not be a true ally. Donnie has a friend named Frank - a large bunny which only Donnie can see. When an engine falls off a plane and destroys his bedroom, Donnie is not there. Both the event, and Donnie's escape, seem to have been caused by supernatural events. Donnie's mental illness, if such it is, may never allow him to find out for sure. Written by
The main bully is named Seth Devlin, which sounds like devil. A sticker inside his locker reads: "What would Satan do?" See more »
When Donnie's science teacher begins talking about Roberta Sparrow's book, Donnie puts the Slinky around his neck. The camera cuts to Donnie taking the book and cuts directly back to a rear angle of Donnie to show the Slinky still taut around his neck, which it would not be if he had released his grip on one end of it. See more »
I've already reviewed the originally released cut of 'Donnie Darko' so
I am not going to review the film again. Instead, I'll comment on the
differences between the two versions; unfortunately most of the
differences took away from the original film, which I think is truly
I traveled two hours round-trip with several friends to see the
Directors Cut since it was not playing in Milwaukee at the time, and
while I am glad that I saw it, I feel that the original is the superior
version. There were many superfluous scenes in the new cut which did
not add to the film; rather I almost felt that they made the pacing
falter a bit. For example, the new scene between Donnie's parents in
the café a completely unnecessary scene which did not add anything
relevant to the story. There were a handful of scenes like this, as
well as some added dialogue that indeed added to the development of
some characters, (Drew Barrymore's character, the teacher 'Karen' was
enhanced a bit) for some it just seemed silly (One of Donnie's bus stop
friends telling Cherita that he 'hopes she gets molested' turned him
from just being an incidental character into being an incidental
character who is a jackass.)
Another major difference between the two films was the addition of
several special effects to the new cut. There were a lot of dream-like
sequences (the file cabinets floating among the clouds ala Rene
Magritte) and all of the stuff focusing on Donnie's eyeball,
computer-ish codes, etc, that just did not work in my opinion. Also,
some of the most subtle changes, soundtrack for example, were
disarming. The opening song was 'The Killing Moon' by Echo and the
Bunnymen in the original, which provided a great backdrop in the
introduction to Donnie, his environment and his family. Kelly used
'Never Tear Us Apart' by INXS in his directors cut. Certainly, a good
song, but after using a perfect song originally, it is hard to get used
to an inferior replacement.
Which is how I sum up my feelings about Kelly's directors cut in
general? Why mess with (near) perfection? 'Donnie Darko' is a fantastic
film that was so thought-provoking it made some people run the other
way. Only those who were interested in something beyond the ordinary
stayed to ponder and theorize its meaning, and still are to this day.
Kelly's new cut does not enhance the film, rather, it made it plodding
and a little dumbed-down two adjectives I never thought I would
ascribe to this film. See the directors cut to play 'spot the new
stuff', but stick with the original.
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