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Donnie Darko

Donnie Darko In recent years, Hollywood has specialised in churning out mainstream

trash; generic fodder not even fit for the cutting room floor. Yet

despite these movies' shortcomings, they continue to enjoy success at

the box office. Sequel upon sequel, photo fit remake upon photo fit

remake, frequently taking the box office by storm whilst

simultaneously relegating smaller independent projects to the now

relatively unheard-of arthouse cinemas. The tragedy is that the

independent filmmakers are often those with the most talent; the most

creativity; the most flair. One such filmmaker is director Richard

Kelly, who saw the release of his

scifi-drama-horror-tragedy-comedy-romance-thriller Donnie Darko last

year. After reading a few rave reviews for the movie, I decided to

check it out to find out what all the fuss was about.

Donnie is a seventeen year-old boy with major emotional problems. He

suffers from a psychological condition not dissimilar to

schizophrenia, and lives most of his life in a medication-induced

daze. We watch as Donnie meets Frank, a six foot tall rabbit which

predicts the end of the worlds. Returning to his house, Donnie finds a

jet engine jutting out from the side of his bedroom. The remainder of

the movie follows Donnie's coming to terms with the ghostly presence

of Frank in his life, the purpose of his existence, and the fact that

the world will end unless he intervenes.

Without giving too much away, I can safely say that Donnie Darko is a

mind-blowing experience. And I use the word "experience" in its truest

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... Furthermore, the last few lines of the movie, without telling

you what they are, are meaningful on so many levels, and mark the end

to a film steeped in emotion, surrealism and subtle beauty.

I implore you to watch this movie. It most certainly is not for

everyone, and will probably be cast off by a lot of the movie going

public as pretentious, artsy nonsense. Donnie Darko only saw a very

short, unsuccessful US run and was accompanied with very little hype.

Hilarious, heart-rendingly sad, terrifying, profound, intellectually

stimulating, emotionally absorbing and thematically relevant, this is

by far the best movie of 2002. And for all those wishing to know if

there's any American Pie-style crudity, sadly not - although at one

point we are treated to a rather interesting discussion regarding the

sex lives of smurfs.
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