In the late 1960s/early 1970s, a San Francisco cartoonist becomes an amateur detective obsessed with tracking down the Zodiac Killer, an unidentified individual who terrorizes Northern California with a killing spree.
Robert Downey Jr.,
A boy stands on a station platform as a train is about to leave. Should he go with his mother or stay with his father? Infinite possibilities arise from this decision. As long as he doesn't choose, anything is possible.
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
Well out of his teens, Vince Vaughn reportedly turned down the part of Donnie, due to his age. Mark Wahlberg was interested in the part, but apparently was only willing to play the part with a lisp. Jason Schwartzman was also strongly considered for Donnie, but dropped out, due to scheduling conflicts. Tim Robbins was the first choice for the role of Eddie Darko. Mara Wilson was considered for the role of Samantha Darko, but she turned it down. See more »
When Donnie and his dad are talking in the car - just before they almost run grandma death over - a clapperboard is reflected in the window behind Donnie's dad's head. See more »
"Proud to Be Loud" Performed by The Dead Green Mummies -- this song is actually performed by the band Pantera. (The Dead Green Mummies do not exist.) Pantera has all but disowned their first four albums, this song is track 5 on the fourth of those albums, "Power Metal." The band presumably did not want to be credited with the song (as they don't consider any of their pre-1990 material part of their discography) and made up the name The Dead Green Mummies. See more »
In the Director's Cut, the voice saying "Get off the stage, Cherita!" and "You suck!" (presumably said by Ronald Fisher) are no longer heard after Cherita is done with her dance. Also gone is the catcall right before this. However, added to the scene was more raucous applause instead of the nervous applause from the original version. See more »
In my opinion there are two types of writing. Controlled Writing where the superego controls the pen. The other is where the imagination (the id) takes over. This was id writing. Uncontrolled, wild and chaotic.
In many instances this type of writing doesn't work - its energetic and vibrant, but without focus it just winds up a mess.
This film makes it work however for the following reasons.
This is the tale of a young man, a 'coming of age' story, and the story of most young men are tinged with wildness and chaos. Thus the premise and themes fit perfectly with the wildly imaginative way in which the story was told.
It speaks to young men in the way a good 'coming of age' story is meant to. Its rare, I can only think of a few films that do it well: Good will hunting, fight club, star wars and now donnie darko. I'm in my mid 20s and looking back, the fear, distress and sheer confusion of teenage life is always a brilliantly painful experience. But this distress (the movie fight club refers to it as the "great depression") is incredibly heightened in this film due to the sense of impending doom that Donnie feels throughout. Thus i ask you :
Is this not the way all of us were feeling post 9/11 ?
Its timing was perfect. A simple message powerfully expressed to me is the height of great writing. Everyone understands a simple point and everyone (no matter their education/literacy) can be moved by it.
Now here are the Cons:
OK so he stole the rabbit from alice in wonderland/the matrix and the time travel discussion is pretty juvenile, but then what talk amongst teenagers isn't? If they spoke like college professors
a) the characters don't seem like realistic teens
b) you lose your target audience
The director's cut honestly sucked major ass. It showed that the director is a little clueless about effective ways of film-making. they took out some of the great songs that made the original really gel and replaced them with a classical score in parts that clearly didn't work. Also some weird kiddy kaleidoscope images were thrown in that were a fake ass attempt to look like the closing images of 2001 a space odyssey. The directors cut was a travesty that should not have been allowed. An obvious attempt to make some quick cash based on this film being a huge hit at the video rentals arena (it didn't do any business on the screen 1st time around). I think the directors cut version should be burned.
But hes still young and allowed to make mistakes. As are we all. I'm looking forward to his future work. This film may be a "one hit wonder", or it might not. But no pun intended - only time will tell.
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