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Donnie Darko


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I know this thread has been done before. I finally got to see this the other night when I picked up the DVD (it's only $10, you can't pass it up). I was glued to it the entire time. When it ended, I wanted to replay the entire thing right there... and not because I didn't "get it", but because I was so damn awestruck by it. I think it's possibly the best film I've ever seen (knocking Pee-wee's Big Adventure down a notch, still folowed by Nightmare Before Christmas and Edward Scissorhands).

I'm not interested in whether or not you think this movie is "KEWL!!!11" or if you hated it. Let me rephrase that, I don't give a **** whatsoever. At least not in a basic sense. I see enough of that crap in all the other movie threads here.

I want to know what you think this movie is [i]about[/i]. Why what happens happens. The significance of the events and the characters and even the music, or whatever else you think is important.

If you need to play on how great you thought something was, or how much something sucked... so be it. I just want some good thoughts on this.

To really have a full idea of this movie, you HAVE to see all the DVD extras and read what there is of Mrs. Sparrow's book on there as well. It would really help.

I have plenty of my own ideas, but I'll post them later. I've heard a few already, but I'll say right out that I think what happens to Donnie in this movie actually happens... however, not on the same plane of existance. Temporal universes, if you understand all that. I don't feel like writing a couple pages of material until I know people would actually discuss it.

So yeah, make me proud! :p
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Ideas for what happened? I'm not quite sure what you mean, but I'll give it a shot.

Something I didnt get at first was why [spoiler]Frank was the one to go back in time and tell Donnie. I mean WHY some guy in a bunny suit, it made no sense to me. But my second time watching it, I caught on. "I'm so sorry", Frank went back to tell Donnie sorry for running over Gratchen. I'm pretty sure that Donnie wasn't halucinating Frank, that is what everyone I talk to seems to think though. I belive his pills let him see...dead people or something, or on a higher plane of existance. I've heard folklore about bunnies being messengers of god too, so that MIGHT have something to do with it.[/spoiler]

Thats all, I'm not sure if thats what you wanted, but thats all your getting from me.

[ a semi-intelligent post from RV2 ]

[b]Edit:[/b] I've seen that avatar at another board...theif!!!1!11!1!!one!1
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I prolly wouldnt say so much that I thought that the happenings occured on a temporal plane, so much as it was something like what could have happened had he woken and left his bedroom early.

Personally I think Frank represented something akin to a consience of sorts, only with some majorly off kilter ideas on right and wrong.

If the character was to do one thing ever so slightly different, the consequences could be innumerable and incredulous, I found that to me that the movie came across with so many sub messages but possibly one of the most prominant was the consequences of every choice and action, we cant predict them, but if we could see even a few seconds into the future, we would change our choices and live with all the consequences. Constant risks and gambles without us even knowing that these things are potentially going to take place, we only discover the consequences as they occur, and so our lives are in basis nothing but chances and possibilities and lost oppertunities.

Hope that makes sense, but thats one of the things that I left with having seen the movie.
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[font=gothic][color=indigo]Well, I have two theories on this movie. The first is that it was simply a vehicle for the Gary Jules version of Mad World, an old Tear For Fears song... The second one...

I believe that Frank, rather than a hallucination, or being himself and trying to apologise, was Donnie's way of escaping. Donnie used Frank to try and understand his "condition", and explain some of his actions, out of a desire to be truly able to live his life. And when he found that out, he ued Frank as an excuse to escape that incomprehensible life. As for the temporal fluidity thing, I'm of the opinion that Donnie was interested in it because he regretted some of the things he did, such as waking up and leaving the house. It's rather interesting, because that teacher (I can't quite remember his name), mentions that you need a vehicle among other things for the travel to occur, but Donnie never actually enters any kind of vehicle. It may just be a fallacy on my part, or a script error that wasn't really addressed though. Another idea I had for a while, though I don't really believe it now I'll throw it into the ring anyway, was that Frank was a form of premonition for Donnie, given in a form that Donnie would come to understand as events unfolded for him. Donnie never understood why Frank appeared to him until the car accident, and upon this point, Donnie realised that it was his influence, and his decision to get up that night, that lead to the accident in the first place. So Donnie chose, to avert the tragedy and to quiet his own problems, to heed the given advice, and transmuted the ideas into time travel, to explain them to himself.

All pretty farfetched, and it's been quite a while since I actually viewed the movie, but I'll stick by my opinions.[/font][/color]
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  • 2 weeks later...
[color=indigo]I sat down and watched this movie the other night on HBO because so many people raved about how good it was. The movie was incredibly wierd yet very, very interesting. Although I think I probably need to see the movie a few more times before I get the whole "gist" of the movie, I do have one speculation about the movie that I thought was interesting.

The movie the Donnie and his girlfriend saw "Eaters of the Dead" (or something along those lines), however, there is a deliberate shot of another movie that is playing in the theater, "The Last Temptation of Christ"...a reference I feel can be used as a direct metaphor to Donnie and the plot line of the movie. Don't get me wrong, I don't think the entire movie is a spiritual reference, I just think that there are similarities that the writer included blatantly.

The first similarity is the charecter of Donnie. Donnie stands up for those weaker than he is and also stands strong in his belifes, despite being persecuted for them by the schools administration and other students. Also, despite having friends and family, Donnie has the constant feeling that he is alone in life.

I also think that Frank (or at least the manifestation of Frank) can be viewed as a version of the devil "tempting" Donnie. Frank is portrayed as a demonic figure and more or less convinces Donnie that he must do unthinkable acts, that, though on the surface seem good, end up causing horribly catastrophic events.

I guess that the final comparison that I would make, is Donnie's sacrifice. At the end of the movie, by not succumbing to the temptations of Frank/hallucinations, Donnie saves several lives by sacrificing himself and not giving into temptation.

Anyway, that is a quick, rambling, and more than likely incoherrant theory of one aspect of charecterization and metaphors in the movie. I am sure that there are quite a few more underlying themes that I'll pick up on after watching it a couple more times...[/color]
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I have to say that the movie they went to see was "The Evil Dead", which is a popular cult classic type horror flick. It's while that movie is playing that Frank asks Donnie, "Have you ever seen a Portal?" and then tells him to watch the screen. I just find it interesting that in the movie Evil Dead, at the end they say the right words to send the evil back to who knows where, and a huge "time portal" opens up and sucks everything in the area into it which leads up to the sequel "The Army of Darkness". I don't know what, if anything, that helps clear up.
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I feel that the ending montage could have been put together a bit more neatly. That's where a lot of the confusion set in for me--which I'll get into.

But, the movie did a lot of things wonderfully. The soundtrack, for example, is wonderful. It adds to the atmosphere so much. Plus, it is one of those films you want to watch over again. And, I still have to do that and delve into the extra features, so my take on it will probably evolve and sound more informed later on.

[spoiler]First of all, Frank can be explained through the definition of [b]Deus Ex Machina[/b].


1) In Greek and Roman drama, a god lowered by stage machinery to resolve a plot or extricate the protagonist from a difficult situation.

2)An unexpected, artificial, or improbable character, device, or event introduced suddenly in a work of fiction or drama to resolve a situation or untangle a plot.

3)A person or event that provides a sudden and unexpected solution to a difficulty.

If you think about it, this explanation is pretty feasible. Frank appears as a means to save Donnie's life when a huge peice of airplane debris crashes into his s room. And, he reveals to him, a revelation.

I don't necessarily think that it's so Donnie can save the world in literal terms. Rather, it's a way to untangle the conflict within Donny. He's obviously a very frustrated character, consumed by fear. The fear of dying alone, mainly. But, Frank doesn't only appear to his benefit. Donnie is used as a device to purge the supporting cast from the personal flaws they've been inflicted with, as well. In many ways, Donnie is a savior, or a Christ-like character. Heh, he even refers to himself as a super hero at one point, I think. So, I don't think he was trying to use Frank as an excuse for anything. Frank is a spirit that pulls him from an unavoidable reality for a short time and guides him to a righteous path, so to speak.

This is supported through the marquee when he goes to the movies with his girlfriend. You know, "The Last Temptation of Christ," which is a fantasy where Jesus is being tempted by Satan and sees what his life would have been like if he was not the Son of God and had not been sacrificed to save humanity. And you have "Evil Dead," which is pretty much self explanatory. heh

But anyway, I adored the Cherita character. You can see how she's portrayed as mistreated for the duration of the entire film. It's like she's shut out. But, when Donnie says "Someday everything will be all right for you," her ear muffs fall off. Because Donny feels that he is going to die alone, he then puts them on.

Plus, you see how Donnie burns down the house and reveals the child pornographer for what he really is. Prior to that, he even calls him the antichrist. So, there's definitely something there.

The ending was interesting, but a bit confusing to me, as I've said. At first, I didn't understand [i]how[/i] Donnie got back. Now that I think about it though, I think that he did everything he was supposed to and came to terms with whatever was troubling him. Furthermore, he put everyone who was miserable on their right path. It was like what Tony said to me: All the miserable characters were smiling. Donnie's girlfriend was happy, Donnie was smiling, etc.

Oh well, that's my take for now.[/spoiler]
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[QUOTE][i]Originally posted by Charles [/i]
[B]
[spoiler]
The ending was interesting, but a bit confusing to me, as I've said. At first, I didn't understand [i]how[/i] Donnie got back. Now that I think about it though, I think that he did everything he was supposed to and came to terms with whatever was troubling him. Furthermore, he put everyone who was miserable on their right path.[/B][/QUOTE]

When I saw it I just thought that time shifted. I haven't seen the movie for a while, but didn't he have the power to see portals? Couldn't he have just gone through one? - I think I'll have to watch the movie again so I can get a better understanding of what happened.[/spoiler]
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  • 3 weeks later...
Okay, before you begin to get annoyed, this is not another "I love this movie, have you seen it?" thread. I actually have a question about the movie that I hope you can answer.

[spoiler]Did Donnie have sex with Dr. Thurman? If you've seen the deleted scenes, one is where Donnie and Dr. Thurman discuss sex, the scene suddenly ends when Dr. Thurman asks Donnie, "Have you ever made love before?". Another scene is when Dr. Thurman tells Donnie that he no longer needs to see her, in which their is a curiously long period of scilence with Dr. Thurman after Donnie leaves, she is holding the stuffed dog.[/spoiler]
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  • 2 months later...
[size=1] Sorry to bring this thread back from its death...but I have to.

The movie made perfect sense until the ending. The most confusing part for me is when you see his mother in the plane, and then the jet's engine flies into a portal. That didn't tie in well with what happened.

Here is what I thought after first seeing it. I thought perhaps Donnie had dreamed it all--I mean, that one Mad World or whatever song plays--

"And I find it kind of funny
I find it kind of sad
That the dreams in which I'm dying
Are the best I've ever had."

This is what I came to at the end of the movie. He dreamed the entire thing up to the point where he woke up in his room, and he sat there laughing, laughing because he knew no one would suffer because of him.

This is wrong, though. He actually walked into his room knowing he was going to die. I don't exactly understand how time just shifted back to when Donnie's room was smashed--but this is besides the point I guess. He died for a sacrifice--he died like Jesus; to end suffering--the suffering he would have caused. This is one of the main points of the movie. And frankly, many don't see it. That last temptation of christ movie has already been mentioned already.

Lots of things once this movie is ended don't make sense. My grandma said this point is to say that life doesn't make sense. Even this said, I still think there's something more here.

Okay, here is what I think. I think that some of Donnie's imagination as well as reality was shown in the movie. It was all mixed and thrown into one. I find this hard to elaborate on though. But just think about it--that jet engine with his mother on it as they are coming back--this was still in the time before the world ended for Donnie.

Maybe it was time overlapping? Or maybe it was that it was in another dimension, and then somehow Donnie got in the other one?

I don't know. It's hard to explain, really.

Life doesn't make sense. This movie doesn't make perfect sense. It sort of works for me, I guess.

The movie itself was amazing. I felt like I wasn't even alive and breathing when I was watching it...I felt like I was nothing, and just watching it all away from everything that is me. And I actually cared about the characters. I actually cared when his girlfriend died. Why I'm not quite sure...the movie's just done so well.

The Mad World or whatever song near the end was right where it needed to be as well. What a good song for a good movie.[/size]
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