Donnie Darko

I’m not sure what I expected from this movie. But perhaps my expectations were too high.

Time travel. Donnie’s trapped in an alternate reality created the instant he should have died, crushed beneath a plane turbine. However, unlike “Back to the Future”, where time marches forward, this alternate reality where he lives is destined to collapse on itself. It’s not that they blatantly call it God’s plan that bothers me about the movie, it’s the imagery. Particularly, the water spears.

Oh, and by the way, Frank, the rabbit, is neither good nor bad; just as Gretchen is neither good nor bad. Both die in this alternate reality, yet are forces leading Donnie to that point where he can hop back in time, kill himself, and “end the world”, i.e. that alternate reality.

Though, one wonders, if Frank is this entity set forth to collapse the alternate reality, then why would he have lured Donnie away from his bed the night he should have died beneath the turbine? An answer comes about if we look to the beginning of the movie. Donnie wakes up in the middle of a road with his bike nearby. Without this whole alternate reality bullshit, he’s obviously a troubled kid, and the characters around him know that he sleepwalks (and apparently sleep-bikes). So then this alternate reality came about not because of Frank, but because of his instability. There was no choice made here where an obvious split happens. It’s just, one night, he sleep walks, sees Frank, and he should have died.

So in the end, I’ve probably thought about this movie far more than I intended to. I gave it 3/5 stars on Netflix ( I like it).

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