Details: (M), 113 mins, United States, English
Synopsis: When his bedroom is destroyed by an object fallen from the sky, an imaginative teenager makes the acquaintance of an imaginary friend, Frank, a six-foot rabbit who predicts the end of the world.
A shot at small-town repression.
Donnie Darko is a strange but intriguing film that debuted at Sundance. It's a cry of anguish from a disaffected generation. Set in October 1988, Donnie Darko – played by Jake Gyllenhaal – is an intelligent but troubled teenager. He's on medication and he's seeing a psychiatrist played by Katharine Ross. One night just before a jet engine falls out of the sky crashing into his bedroom he's lured out of the house by Frank, a bizarre rabbit-like imaginary friend. Frank tells him the end of the world will happen in 28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes and 12 seconds. Before the cataclysm Donnie, under Frank's instructions, confronts the hypocrisy and increasing conservatism of his world by becoming a self-styled avenger, vandalising his school and setting fire to the house of a motivational guru played by Patrick Swayze. And he finds himself falling in love with newcomer in town, Gretchen (Jena Malone).
Donnie Darko is the first film from writer/director Richard Kelly. It's a daring and ambitious film that doesn't quite succeed, but because it is so original, so non-conformist in its approach and in its characters, it has a fascination. There's no doubting the barbs that the film shoots at small town racism, sexism and political and social repression. Kelly's assembled an interesting cast including Drew Barrymore as a provocative teacher, Barrymore was the executive producer of the film, Mary McDonnell and Holmes Osborne as Donnie's parents, and Jake's sister Maggie Gyllenhaal as his sister in the film. I must admit that while I enjoyed Donnie Darko I was ultimately a bit perplexed by it.
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