WEIRDLAND: Donnie Darko by Metaphilm

Monday, November 27, 2006

Donnie Darko by Metaphilm

"Like most people who watch DD, I tried to work out what was going on rationally, and always there was something that didn't fit. I gave up in the end and assumed that the writer wanted to just mess with people's minds. But now, the explanation which satisfies me the most is that the whole thing is just a dream. Okay, bear with me...

Donnie is mentally ill, lets say some form of depression. He decides to take his own life; an overdose before he goes to bed. As he lays there, he justifies his actions by coming up with the story that we watch.

I've almost been in that position myself. Everyone is saying "things will get better", and "something might happen tomorrow which could change your life entirely", and "if you kill yourself, it will harm your family".

So, he imagines a scenario in which even if he met the girl of his dreams, she and his family would still be better of without him... well, they would be alive. He justifies taking his own life to save others.

The only bit that we see for real is towards the end when he is in bed, laughing quietly to himself. From this perspective, it's a very empty, sad film. But the saddest thing is that somewhere, right now, someone is seeing their own version of it, just as they breathe their last breath."

Posted by: :-) mark on Aug 16, 05


Simon Agent 002 said...

Well, I haven't seen Darko yet, but when I do , I'll enjoy seeing Jake, and be happy with that.
These sort of open ended confusing movies drive me crazy.
It took yrs, and a website for me to understand "2001".

Now for some reason? I'm comming down with a neck pain? ;)

gr77 said...

this would be a very interesting interpretation of the DD mystery if it wasn't for one detail..that after we see jake laughing in his bed there's the sound of the engine crashing on the house and we see his mother,father and sister disturbed by it.
i stopper trying to logically explain DD after my 3rd time seeing it.i think it will take away some of it's magic.just like "lost highway", another of my favourites.

penny lane said...

Simon, do watch Donnie Darko - even if the movie boggles your mind, Jake is terrific in it! I love, love the opening scene especially and the soundtrack of this movie rocks! (I understand in the Director's Cut they changed the music somewhat so I think you should see the original version.). To me it was a movie about mental illness but it is fascinating to read the different kinds of interpretations different people give to it.
Kendra, remember I told you I was going to attend The Night of the Proms with both classical and pop music? I was not really certain which groups and artists were going to be there. There was a choir accompanying some groups and at one time during the evening the place went dark and the choir started singing the refrain to...A Mad World and then Tears For Fears
launched into the song..! Such a surprise -- it literally gave me goosebumps..! Wonderful night!

Kendra said...

^^ "Tears for Fears" and "Mad World": that's terrific, dear! I already knew you had a great "velada" in Amberes, but just thinking you recently watched "Donnie Darko" for 1st time, as well as Simon soon will be doing, and almost right after listening this at "The Night of the Promps" is a sweet coincidence that has also given me goosebumps, Penny Lane.

if it wasn't for one detail

Every theory about "Donnie Darko" fails for one/many details to converge in a flawless sci-fi pseudo-scientific interpretation. Therefore I made up a non related to the POTT (Philosophy of Time Travel) symbolic theory which I feel proud of. And being a total Darko freak, I constantly look for another people's interpretations.

Simon Agent 002 said...

Pain update: It has moved lower, and now is a full pain in the ass.

vanzmotorbike said...

Donnie Darko is a coming of age film. Donnie is at a time between childhood/adolescence and adulthood. He is struggling with the concept of applying childhood logic to high school/adulthood indoctrination, that is illustrated through adult attempts to look at the simplistic as complex which paradoxically attempts to simplify the adult world (for example via the love-hate dichotomy) when it is not. Adolescence is long-blamed for difficulties within the individual's inability to adjust rather than the schizophrenic organisation of the adult social collective. Growing up is difficult; being grown up is when we all give in to untruths in order to accept the world view of those who set the rules and over which we have no control.

Kendra said...

Simon, you should be the host of a comedic show or a sitcom, that's been what I call an improved witty joke! Always putting a smile on my face ;)

Vanz: you've expressed in such a revealing way the conflicted nature in Donnie's personality and the society surrounding him, that I hope you don't mind I add this comment of yours within a next Metaphilm post. Thanks in advance, motorbike chick ;)

vanzmotorbike said...

Wow. I dont mind at all. Im glad you liked it. I dont believe that Donny is mentally unstable, he is more wayward and his actions are more an expression of criminal acts that some young people are prone to carry out, testing the boundaries of what they can get away with in the world, albeit as a sleepwalker.

Kendra said...

^^Agree, Vanz, Donnie even brags a little when he tells Gretchen he was in jail.

Simon Agent 002 said...

^^Kendra, I try.

as for DD, if the explaination is longer than the film , I start to worry.
It's over my head.

jacknastygirl said...

I like to think that Donnie is "the saviour" of the universe

discussion is soooo complicated :)...
(I don't like the idea of mental illness)....I rather think that this is one of the elements of this "trap"