I must admit it. I’m obsessed with the movie ‘Donnie Darko’. I own the DVD as well as a framed box office poster bought on ebay.
I don’t think there’s too much wrong with my obsession with it, though. Most screenwriters and filmmakers have felt the same way since it’s release. I, like most folks it seems, learned of it by word of mouth. At first glance the title conjures images of dark comic book heroes like The Punisher or Spawn. But, the reality of this dark horse is much a deeper look into the human mind and of redemption.
The title character is actually named Donnie Darko. We enter his twisted world as he escapes death by being led out of his home by a phantom voice. His fortunate escape is the Catalyst for the horrible events that follow.
It’s the sort of thing that facinates me. The idea that one event in our lives can trigger a chain reaction that, if given the chance to live that moment again, could go in a very different direction. Almost like the fork in the road amped up by X.
Perhaps I just analize my life too much or think about this kind of thing too much. There are several points in my life that I would be curious to see how choosing the path to the right over the path to the left would effect everything. Would it be life altering or would things end up the same anyway?
The other point in the movie facinates me as well. If I knew that I was the key to changing events to avoid death and misery to befall the people I love, would I have the stregnth to sacrifice myself to save them? How many people really want to be heroes anyway? The real defining moment for a hero is sacrifice. So, outside of our fantasies of grandeur and glory, who would really want that? It’s like the question posed in another movie ‘The Prophesy’ ~ Since God usually sent his angels as assassins, would you really ever want to meet one?
So, I watch Donnie Darko over and over again. Looking at all the plot points that move the story along while making the viewer think. The brilliant scene ~ featuring Tears For Fears ~ is something to behold! In the sweep of the camera we learn everything we’ll need to know about all of the characters. Not with some over the top monologue or rant, but simple wordless expressions and gestures.
It will lead you to tears several times, but the story is worth the kleenex.