Donnie Darko

Donnie Darko ★★★★★

I didn’t watch this today but I read someone’s review for it and realized I hadn’t yet logged Donnie Darko on Letterboxd. So I did so now, making it my 1,000th logged film, and I couldn’t think of a more worthy entry. 

This movie hit me hard when I first saw it. I was 21 years old. I had just finished uni and was in a transitory state, working part time, partying a lot, not really knowing what I was going to do with my life, emotionally unstable. 

I watched the final moments of the movie, with the Mad World montage leading to the conversation with the neighbor and the girlfriend looking at the mum, and they know but they don’t know all that they’ve lost. 

As the closing credits played over a funeral dirge, I said, “That was so sad,” and started sobbing uncontrollably. Luckily the guys in the room had already gone outside for a smoke and the two girls left took me into another room where I cried on a bed for a few minutes until I was back under control. 

I’ve cried from movies before, and actually I probably do so more since I’ve had kids (I’m looking at you, Grave of the Fireflies), but only Donnie Darko I think made me cry after the movie was finished, from the sum total of the experience, not just from a sad thing happening at the time.

People from all walks were discussing this movie when it came out, it had so much to offer on so many levels. Technically it’s a wonderfully made movie in terms of acting, directing, writing, music, lighting and so on. But it was saying things that you weren’t hearing in other mainstream movies. It was telling us something important about living here and now, trying to give us the tools to connect to each other. 

Thank you, Donnie.

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