Donnie Darko (2001)

Whoa... what a movie...

Throughout the movie, I kept hoping things work out for Donnie Darko. In particular, I wanted his relationship with Gretchen to work out. In order to avoid spoilers, I won't say things do work out or not, but I consider the ending to be good. It wasn't the ending I expected, but it was a good ending.

The Darko family.

The movie is interesting and reminds me of another movie which is dark and whose protagonist has a great deal of internal struggle.

In any case, I would probably have to watch this movie again to gain a deeper understanding of the movie as a whole. Watching the movie for the first time, my focus was mainly on the question "What will happen next?" At some point, I'm also wondering, "How is everything related?" If I watched it a second time, I would ask, "Why was this scene here?" and be able to focus on details that surround the core of the movie.

Actually, the movie reminds me of the philosophy that if you don't fear death, then you can let it come; this doesn't mean that you should seek death (which includes living recklessly), but that you are at peace with it's occurrence.

Donnie (left) and Gretchen (right)

Character Comments:
Jake Gyllenhaal ... Donnie Darko
:(younger) brother of Maggie Gyllenhaal. There are certain dark scenes with him smiling that just freak me out. It's cool, but freaky.
Maggie Gyllenhaal ... Elizabeth Darko
:being cast as your brother's sister is definitely the way to go...
Daveigh Chase ... Samantha Darko
:"What is a f*ck-ass?"
Mary McDonnell ... Rose Darko
:She doesn't know what to do with Donnie, but you can tell she loves him.
James Duval ... Frank
:Creepy bunny.
Jena Malone ... Gretchen Ross
:She was young Ellie in Contact. In this movie, I like how she lines up with Donnie.
Drew Barrymore ... Karen Pomeroy
:"Cellar Door"
*Ashley Tisdale and Seth Rogen also have small roles in the movie.

Donnie, Gretchen, and Frank.

In hindsight, a lot of foreshadowing occurs throughout the movie. And last, I'd like to say the movie was particularly interesting because I had no idea what the movie was about before watching it. I hadn't seen any previews, and hadn't heard any plot summaries. Imagine how surprised I was during the introduction of the movie.

[20100210][20130307 Edited]

20110820 Comment:
Reading the above entry today (20110820), I couldn't figure out which movie I was comparing with Donnie Darko. Trying to think things through, I'd say Donnie Darko reminds me of Pan's Labyrinth (2006). Overall, I like Pan's Labyrinth better, because Pan's Labyrinth creates an entirely new world and portrays a greater degree of emotion than Donnie Darko. On an emotional scale, Donnie Darko might be more like Harold and Maude (1971).

Watching the movie again today, I was able to pick up on a lot more details. However, while certain aspects of the movie made more sense, the ending of the movie made less sense. The ending suggests that all the characters felt a ripple of what Donnie had been through.

Donnie riding his bike home.

20191005 Comment:
A couple of months ago I was investigating movies with time travel and Donnie Darko was on the list. I was surprised, because I didn't understand why. So then I went around reading about the plot and there's actually some deep plot points which I completely miss. Though to be fair, part of the explanation involves a book which is referenced in the movie and whose contents have been shared. At the end of the day, I realized that I previously wasn't close to understanding the ending of the movie. I look forward to watching the movie again from a new perspective.

Watched 20100210 @ Home
Watched 20130307 (Netflix, Instant, HD)
Donnie Darko (2001) Richard Kelly. 113 min.

One of Donnie's sketches of Frank.

Relevant Links:
Donnie Darko (
Donnie Darko (
Donnie Darko (
The Destructors (

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