Sunday, August 06, 2006

"Why are you wearing that stupid man suit?"

Donnie Darko Review:

What can I say about this movie that probably hasn’t been said a million times before? I’m very late to the Donnie Darko train, but I’ll do my best to throw in my two cents about this supremely messed-up movie.

I loved this movie…so dang much. It totally blew my mind, but I liked that it did. It got me thinking and I always like it when a movie does that. It was the kind of movie that kept on piling on mysteries right up to the big climax and the big reveal, and I was so afraid that it was going to disappoint (as movies like this tend to do), but it didn’t. It was very satisfying in that the end wasn’t so confusing that you couldn’t figure out the basic gist of what happened, while at the same time it still left some things open for you to think about long after the movie was over.

The performances in this movie were all great starting, of course, with Jake Gyllenhaal. There are some people who post on this blog who can’t even stand the sight of him *looks disapprovingly at The Derelict*, but I love him. I think he is so talented and (if I can be shallow for a moment) really cute. So…yeah, I REALLY liked this movie (you should probably keep that in mind when reading my review since half of the reason why it’s so positive is because of Jake). I think Jake is so good at making the characters he plays likeable. I was not expecting to like Donnie as much as I did during this movie. Something about the way Jake played him made him…relatable? I don’t know if that’s the right word, but something like that. There was a sort of innocence behind all his brooding and seriousness that was really appealing.

But above all I would recommend this movie because it is so creative and…different than anything I’ve ever seen. Frank was thoroughly creepy, and that ending…I’m still thinking about it. And now for the grade…I can honestly say that while watching this movie, there was nothing about it that I didn’t like, so what else can I do, but give it the only grade it deserves: A.

Derelict, I found this interview with Richard Kelly (the director and writer) and Jake Gyllenhaal as well as this site which both helped to explain the movie a little more for me. Hopefully, it does the same for you and makes the movie as enjoyable for you as it was for me.


The Derelict said...

Yeah, actually, I did some digging myself and found theories and stuff. I actually thought JG was very good (as were all of the performances) and I *did* like the movie. I guess I just don't think it's the greatest movie EVER like so many in my film classes did about four years ago. Seriously, all anybody ever talked about was Donnie Darko and how it frickin' blew their minds. You would've thought it was Pulp Fiction or something (and for the record, I don't think DD is as good as Pulp Fiction). Maybe I've just seen more "mind-blowing" movies so my mind is not as easily blown (I really suggest you watch Memento).

I enjoyed DD for its weirdness, it's originality, the performances, the mood (which was pitch-perfect), some really haunting images -- but I didn't really come away from the movie thinking: "That means something to me." It raised interesting ideas but never really took them anywhere. This review by Roger Ebert sums it up for me:
(Note, Ebert improved his grade for DD when the Director's Cut came out:

Maybe I'll need to see it again, since many of its internet fans claim you have to see it at least twice. For now, I'd give a solid B+, but for me an "A" film has to have some *meaning* for me personally in order to receive the highest grade.

Niel said...

The internet fans are right!! you really have to see it AT LEAST twice! and more important; give it you full attention! I think the mind blowing aspect of DD is very different as in momento or pulp fiction. I prefer DD.