28 days....6 hours....42 minutes....12 seconds, this is all the time Donnie Darko has left until the world as he knows it ends forever. Donnie is not you normal 16 year old, he is introverted, medicated and stalked by a 6 foot tall bunny rabbit in his dreams called Frank, who warns Donnie of the oncoming Apocalypse. Donnie lives in a white American town called Middlesex which is a definition of suburbia.
is the place where first time writer-director Richard Kelly decided to
set his cult masterpiece claiming it was very similar to the world he
grew up in. The movie is set in 1988 on the eve of Halloween. Kelly
assembled an incredible cast for his debut with the wonderful Jake
Gyllenhaal as the titular anti-hero of the piece giving an incredibly
nuanced performance using just the tilt of his head to make him feel
charming or intimidating in equal measure, the film also boasts the
talents of the late Patrick Swayze as Jim Cunningham as the towns
resident self help guru with a dirty secret, also in the cast is Drew
Barrymore playing Donnie's rebellious English teacher and Donnie's
parents played brilliantly by Mary McDonnell and Holmes Osborne.
the course of the film Donnie meets Jena Malone's Gretchen Ross a
similarly odd and confused young girl who is attracted to Donnie through
his quirks. The film contains a great eighties soundtrack with
everything from Echo and the Bunnymen to Joy Division. The film is most
definitely Richard Kelly’s who balances Donnie's apparent descent into
madness with the satirical quality of the self help videos that appear
throughout the film.
The film is cult classic with an endless amount of
lines to quote and several images stick in your memory for the
foreseeable future, the film is brilliantly layered with themes of
madness, time-travel, religion and the state of modern America. The film
can viewed many times and there are moments where it is up to the
viewer to the decide what happens, this is most evident in the films
enigma of an ending which requires several viewings before the average
viewer can give a proper answer on what they think really happens in the
third act. The film is a masterpiece in modern film-making and deserves
its place as one of the most discussed films of the decade.