Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Donnie Darko review, with spoilers.

I am trying to write a review for the film Donnie Darko.
I first heard of this film in a YouTube video about films that you have to see twice.
Yes you need to see Donnie Darko again to understand it.... But it doesn't mean it was enjoyable!
The film... was... very... boring! At least the first time I saw it.
But still I am not going to join the legions of fans of this cult movie.
There are some good scenes though. The scene where they talk about the Smurfs sexuality was interesting and funny.
The scene where the hero confronts the self-help guru was also good and enjoyable.
But for the most part the film is very boring, slow, unfocused.

It is not a comedy, even though it has some jokes (which I didn't laugh), it is not action, it is not suspense, it is not horror, it is not romance. Some scenes have suspense, yes, especially when the mysterious and creepy bunny appears. But it is not suspense like Hitchcock or Friday 13th.
I wouldn't categorize as science ficton even though the plot mentions time travel.
There are some special-effects scenes, where the "arrow" appears from the chests of the characters. But those scenes were very few and not that enjoyable or interesting.

The main plot of the film is the mysterious jet engine that falls from the sky from nowhere right on top of the hero's bedroom and the creepy bunny that seems to be manipulating the hero to some deadly event. Where does the jet engine come from? Who is the creepy bunny and why is he manipulating the hero to do weird and strange things? Is the creepy bunny a hallucination, an alien, or a real person? The answer comes at the end of  the movie and involves time travel, and plenty of discussion about destiny, god, fate, alternate realities, paradoxes, motivation, love, fear, etc.
In between there are lots of subplots, with the hero's family, his therapist, his teachers, colleagues, girlfriend, bullies, a self-help guru, and probably others I don't remember.
The problem is that the main plot is not that interesting, the subplots are even less interesting.
One of the best scenes of the movie, about the Smurfs sexuality, is completely random and has nothing to do with any of the plots of the movie.
It is difficult for me to enjoy a movie where most of the dialogues are very slow, and the lines seem to be boring and the actors don't appear to feel any pressure or tension or emotion.
For example Quentin Tarantino is able to make very slow dialogues, but that are filled with suspense and tension.
I wasn't able to feel any suspense nor tension in this movie.

The film has become a cult classic because you really need to watch it again in order to understand it. It is not possible to understand the movie by watching it only once. And that is probably what people enjoy most: discovering things they didn't notice the first time.

The film should have had more action, humor, romance, suspense. Better special effects, more dramatic ending, faster, longer, more profound dialogues. The last thing a film should do is make you sleep at the middle of the story. And at the first time I watched this movie, that is what I almost did.

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