Kaycee’s Klasic Films – Donnie Darko

Siobhan Kennedy-Clarke’s classic film reviews
Our fictitious reviewer Siobhan (KayCee) didn't have much of an education but she's passionate about films

This film deserves to be more popular than it is but in my humble opinion it has an image problem. If you look at the Wikipedia entry they call it a science fiction film but its not really it has a bit of pseudo sci-fi about it but it’s a comedy that takes the mickey out of horror films and sci-fi films if you ask me.

Secondly the main character Donnie (Jake Gyllenhaal) is always referred to as “troubled” and you get the feeling he’s one of these spooky, scary kids who causes havoc but really he’s not. He’s a nice kid meets a nice girl and just happens to find weird things happening. The name doesn’t help either if he was Donnie Smith it would give a different impression.

Donnie is seeing a psychiatrist played by Katherine Ross looking like she’s spent too much time in the sun and she does the part pretty good.

Thirdly people talk about this giant rabbit that tells Donnie to do things which again makes him sound like a psycho and although there is a large rabbit type thing involved it is not made to look realistic or scary. That’s because this is a comedy like I said.

It also has similarities to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off in the way the acting is done particularly Donnie’s parents who are cool and don’t freak out about things like they might in other films. Jake’s sister Maggie Gyllenhaal plays his sister here and she’s good but kind of in second gear all the time because it’s not a big part. She’s quite sexy though I like her she’s done some good stuff and she was good here even as young as she was and her brother too she looked more like him in those days.

Seth Rogen is in it as one of the school bullies he’s a strange guy Seth I think he manages to be amusing but not funny funny whatever he does.

I suppose part of the Ferris thing is it’s set in a school and some of the teachers are funny and there’s pompous people for you to dislike especially this kind of goody goody played by Patrick Swayze who turns out to be into child pornography but again that’s not actually what the film is about.

Drew Barrymore is one of the teachers but she’s a good one I wouldn’t have thought she was old enough but time flies she’s not too bad in this not one of my faves usually.

“Weird? me?” Yes you, Donnie. It says so in my contract.

Like Ferris the soundtrack is full of British music Tears for Fears and Echo and the Bunnymen it seems American kids thought that sort of stuff was cooler than their own country was producing at the time well this was in 2001 so I don’t know really they use the strange slower version of Mad World not the TfF one.

It was supposed to be set in 1988 which is Bueller era I don’t know why they didn’t want it to be contemprey or whatever

The main sci-fi bit is people keep having these clear plastic things growing out of their chest like elongated bubbles and you get the Rabbit talking and giving the date and time of the end of the world but although the captions do a countdown of that its not scary or tense or nothing really. Just a device as they say and it has no baring on what happens I don’t reckon.

So just watch it as a fun film it’s well done well acted and all that stuff you only notice in a film when its not there the quality I mean.

 

 

 

 

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