Donnie Darko is a film by Richard Kelly from 2001, with Jake Gyllenhaal in the main lead. The film is supposed to look like it’s from 1988. The film is about a schizophrenic teen that lives in the American suburb of Middlesex. When an unidentified giant plane engine crashes into his room, a chain of mysterious events is triggered. Donnie is plagued by visions of an evil-looking rabbit named Frank. Who makes Donnie commit acts of violence, and tells him the world will end in 28 days. Frank is the boyfriend of Donnie’s sister Elizabeth. The Frank who speaks to Donnie is a kind of ghost Frank – a remnant of Frank, because Donnie shoots him in the eye within the Tangent Universe’s 28 days and can move freely in time throughout the Tangent Universe.
Compare Donnie to one or two of the characters in the short stories we have read about the topic – In all the readings we have done in the other texts from Context, the subject have been “growing up”. All the other readings have been about different children growing up in different environments, though any of them haven’t got any psychological problems. I don’t think that any of the characters from all the other readings we have done, that there are any personalities like Donnie’s. Donnie is suffering from schizophrenic. People with schizophrenia often suffer terrifying symptoms such as hearing internal voices not heard by others, or seen things not seen by others. That is why Donnie often is seeing a therapist and why he is on medication. Though there is “The Sin Bin or Lucy’s Heart” reading where Lucy is been told to do mean things to a girl named Penny by Bethan.
Which she regrets such as Donnie also does. Just like Donnie is been told to overflow the school. But I don’t think any of our readings can be compared to this movie. All the readings we have read takes subject in bulling, a hard way to grow up and so on. There is no greater meaning in texts. In Donnie Darko there is a meaning with everything he does and with every thing there take place in the film. Frank makes Donnie flood the school, giving the lucky students a break from classes. And then he walks Gretchen home and convince her to “go with him”, and says he is happy the school flood, or else he hadn’t had that conversation with her. So I believe Frank made Donnie do it, so he could meet Gretchen.
How can the plot of the film be explained? Can it be explained in more ways? – The plot can definitely be interpreted in many ways. I also think many people doesn’t get it, in the way it’s supposed to be interpreted. Or maybe it’s actually supposed to be in a way, which can be discussed over a longer time and interpreted in many ways. I’ve myself used a lot of time discussing this movie. I would rather do some short but very interesting sites of some of the main characters, and what I think is the deeper meaning of some of the characters.
I see Donnie as Jesus; he died to save mankind – just as Donnie did. Frank I see as Satan, deceived Donnie for his own benefit. Roberta Sparrow as God. I feel like she is the facilitator of all this. She once was a nun, she wrote the book on time travel and she knows Donnie’s letter is coming. Then there is the Chinese girl Cherita, whom you don’t see of follow that much, but I can’t stop thinking that she is Donnie’s “Guardian Angel?” She always seems to be behind Donnie watching over him, and she has a notebook about him. I don’t know if that is a right observation, but I can’t stop thinking that way – and I am not even religious.
Comment on the ending of the film – how can it be interpreted? – Donnie is having a Halloween party, where Gretchen is with him. Donnie goes to the fridge where a note is saying, “Frank left to go get beer”. Then Donnie takes Gretchen to go see Roberta Sparrow, Grandma Dead, because times almost op. Two thugs then attack Donnie and Gretchen, which are two guys from their school. One throws Gretchen onto the ground; the other holds a knife to Donnie’s neck. Roberta is standing in the middle of the road and a car tries to avoid her but then hits Gretchen and kills her. The driver is Frank; this is the real Frank – Donnie’s sister’s boyfriend. Donnie gets scared and frightened and shoots him in the eye.
With Gretchen’s body at his side, Donnie watches a storm begin. Donnie then remembers what Gretchen said about taking back all the bad things and replacing them with something good. Donnie then goes back in time trough the wormhole and changes the future with him staying in bed. With him staying in bed and the crashing hits their house Donnie gets killed. Gretchen lives on, without ever knowing Donnie. I think Gretchen feels some kind of déjà vu when she sees Rose. Gretchen actually doesn’t know Rose yet, but she did before Donnie went back in time. You get the feeling that Rose and Gretchen seem to recognise each other by _way they look at each other.
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