Donnie Darko : Overrated and phony

Overrated and phony

Watched this movie again last night, and i'm really impressed on how you give a higher interest on these movies when you're a teenager.
The only thing that we can take from this movie, is that it is strictly original, but even this is questionable, because if you mix a tale of Stephen King, with movies really awesome like Magnolia and in the history adds American Pie, it's what is shown on Donnie Darko.
The plot is bad, you can't even figure out if it is representative or real, it wants to be a tale for teenagers, but in the end, you think that you're in an nightmare reading the pages of a book that looks like it cames from a witch's mind.
An interesting thing is how the relationship with Donnie and Gretchen starts, but the end shows a lot of coincidence scenes that makes what you see in 2 hours of them together, unbelievable.

Re: Overrated and phony

Funny, what you describe above sounds like a great *beeping* movie to me :-)

I like it because it was so difficult to grasp at first and yet the characters oddly drew you in to their universe. It all seemed off in the right kind of way. I think it is anything but phony, overrated is not for me to judge. I like it and I think it really stands out.... so parhaps I will judge it anyway and say I find it underrated.


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** I am normally not a praying man, but if you are up there, please save me Superman **

Re: Overrated and phony

I know right! I mean:


"you think that you're in an nightmare reading the pages of a book that looks like it cames from a witch's mind"


I'm not even a big fan of Donnie Darko but I already want to rewatch it just because it's been described like this.

Re: Overrated and phony

It's a shallow movie masquerading as something deep and complex. The cinematography and atmosphere is enough to make it more than watchable after a few bong hits, however.

Re: Overrated and phony

I'm 60 and I thought it was wonderful - original, creative, great script, simply brilliant.

On the other hand, I have zero interest in sooperhero movies and giant robots.

Re: Overrated and phony

Don't knock movies just because they are over your head. Try re-watching the film a few times....

Re: Overrated and phony

Emperor's new clothes...

Re: Overrated and phony

I agree, it seemed like something I might've liked when I was 14, a bit corny. Not worth rewatching for me.

Re: Overrated and phony

This film just clicked with me yet just about everyone i recommended it to thought it was rubbish lol
I watch a lot of films and this was just different enough to stand out for me
I think people who don't like this film are living in fear and should stop being afraid and truly love themselves lol

Re: Overrated and phony

If mostly what you have described is your true understanding of the movie, then you missed the plot of the movie(much more detailed in the director's cut). It is a good version and open for interpretation in the same way as Vanilla Sky.

Donnie Darko though is more linear and less complex which leaves holes for the viewer rightfully point out. The theater version tells the story as Donnie discovering the reality of time travel and suggests that it may even be something he can control. This is suggested to even a greater degree when he decides to go back in time to the point where he would die and therefore saving the life of Gretchen. If he had such command then he could just go back in time far enough to remain in the house and not go to the cellar door (which seemed to me a rather impulsive action made without any reason or build-up).

However. there is a lot the viewer is not shown with the theater release being rather "thin" and the plot is as follows:

***As outlined by Salon's Dan Kois from the book's text, much of the film takes place in an unstable Tangent Universe that is connected to the Primary Universe and a duplicate of it, except for an extra metal vessel known as an Artifact — the plane engine. If the Artifact is not sent to the Primary Universe by the chosen Living Receiver (Donnie) within 28 days, the Primary Universe will be destroyed upon collapse of the Tangent. To aid in this task, the Living Receiver is given super-human abilities such as foresight, physical strength and elemental powers, but at the cost of troubling visions and paranoia, while the Manipulated Living (all who live around the Receiver) support him in unnatural ways, setting up a domino-like chain of events encouraging him to return the Artifact. The Manipulated Dead (those who die within the Tangent Universe, like Frank and Gretchen) are more aware than the Living, having the power to travel through time, and will set an Ensurance Trap, a scenario which leaves the Receiver no choice but to save the Primary Universe*****

And of course even knowing the full background, the question is what is the higher power that constructed both universes and why choose the scenario? To save Donnie's soul? To make a point about human's ability to make decision on some scalable moral compass?, etc...... Who knows? Good science fiction film that really could've been great with maybe a larger budget and better design of the plot.

Re: Overrated and phony

OP's description of the move makes want to watch it again. And I just watched it for the 7th time.

Re: Overrated and phony

I'm in agreement with those who say that this film is pretentious and trying really hard to be something deep when it really isn't. It's actually quite shallow. There is really nothing here. Nothing to see that hasn't been done before much better by more capable directors. Is it any coincidence we never really heard from Richard Kelly again. This movie should have gone straight to TV like it was about to had it not gotten a last minute lifeline.

The movie breaks it's own bogus made up on the fly rules of space/time travel. Donnie Darko's teacher is actually right and by his premise this movie makes absolutely no sense. Donnie has free will or choice up to a point. Perfect example he did not need to shoot Frank.He was not forced to do this. His life was not in any danger. He chose to shoot him. And he did so through the eye as if to say literally "an eye for an eye", which I thought was quite obvious. If Donnie was truly being manipulated and there is no free choice or will then why put us through two hrs plus of this nonsense pseudo drivel.

There's plenty of other examples but I've already wasted too much time watching this movie twice in hopes that I may have missed something. In short, I didn't. The director tried to throw so many movie tropes at the wall to see which one stuck, no doubt copying from much better films and better directors in the process. I.E. Pi/Black Swan/Matrix/Blue Velvet. Faulty narrator,Christ like figure and story line, ridiculous made up time travel/parallel universe story, ultra cheesy who's really good vs who's really evil story line.

The only two good things about this movie is the 80's soundtrack and the dude in the Demon Bunny suit. That's definitely not enough to like this movie.

~What if this is as good as it gets?!~
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