I Don’t Understand Donnie Darko

At the conclusion of DONNIE DARKO (2001), I was sitting on the edge of the couch, holding my breath between scenes, hoping there would be more. Not because it was an amazing movie, but because I was hoping for a cinematic frame to clarify my confusion. I guess I shouldn’t have dozen off in the middle. . .

What I’ve gotten after a night filled with weird rabbit dreams is that Jake Gyllenhaal (Spoiler Alert. . .) goes back in time to save his girl friend, the worm hole catches the engine of his mom and sister’s plane and brings it crashing down on his house a month earlier. Now, this happens in the beginning because it’s fate, it was always going to happen, Donnie just hadn’t gotten to the point of decision making. Since Donnie dies in the alternate universe, none of the bad shit happens: Jena Malone doesn’t die and Patrick Swayze never gets caught for child pornography, meaning that bitchy Beth Grant gets to take the girls to California and Mrs. Darko doesn’t die in the plane crash (she at least, lives in the alternate universe).

So that’s what I got. And, left in the first universe is just Donnie Darko and his crazy, insane thoughts. May I also ask why the psychiatrist didn’t put him in a straight jacket? Boy of obviously struggling.

My favorite part of the movie was playing a Hollywood version of “Where’s Waldo?” So many now famous actors in that film! I got immense pleasure in shouting out their names–Seth RogenDrew BarrymoreAshley Tisdale–and pointing at the screen. My companions in the film venture were equally entertained, I think.

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