explain Donnie Darko to me - spoilers if you haven't seen it

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Rÿcher, Aug 10, 2008.

  1. Rÿcher

    Rÿcher Fleet Captain

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    So, they thought Donnie had schizophrenia but it was actually the guy who hit his girlfriend with the Trans Am from the future appearing to him from an alternate reality?

    What was so important that the doctor needed to speak with Donnie's parents during the party?

    Why did Donnie keep going out at night and camping out in odd places days before the jet engine crashed into his room?

    At the end. why was Patrick Swayze's character distraught with a different picture in his room? Why was the psycho Christian lady/teacher disturbed?

    I hate movies that I don't understand or that are made so the audience has questions like 2001. You leave the theater or stop the DVD thinking "WTF?"
     
  2. T'Baio

    T'Baio Admiral Admiral

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    The director didn't even understand it by his own admission, and you want it explained to you?

    The only explanation available is after-the-fact marketing gobbledygook on the web site. But it's all retarded.
     
  3. P0sitr0nic

    P0sitr0nic Vice Admiral Admiral

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    it was a tangent universe. A timeline that was not supposed to happen. And those who die within that tangent universe try to become untrapped by getting it on track.

    Like Frank in the bunny suit. He could appear like that because he died inside that bubble universe. By getting it back on track, with Donnie dying, he no longer died, no one else did, (except donnie) and time could continue.
     
  4. Ethros

    Ethros Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Listen to the commentary track. Then buy the Director Cut DVD, watch that, and the commentary on that too.
    Explains it as best they can
     
  5. Rÿcher

    Rÿcher Fleet Captain

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    sooo, it was like a much less disturbing Butterfly Effect only Donny couldn't time travel at will and had emotional problems?

    Gotcha.
     
  6. Pilot Ace

    Pilot Ace Captain Captain

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    This is just not true. Where did you read this?
     
  7. T'Baio

    T'Baio Admiral Admiral

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    Not only is it obvious on the original DVD's director's commentary, where Kelly often says they did things "because it was cool" and never really explains anything, but Kevin Smith also said that Kelly admitted to him he had no idea what the movie was about. An m.o. repeated with Southland Tales.

    All the stuff on the web site explaining what the movie was about was done after the fact, in which a marketing company was hired to piece it all together and make some sense of it all.
     
  8. Kegek

    Kegek Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Donnie Darko is a film about teenage angst that manages to be entertaining enough, through a combination of a weird, rather hallucinatory plotline that seems to make more sense than it does, and a generous helping of dark humour ontop of that. I don't think it really has to make sense.

    2001 is an open slate, malleable to multiple interpretations. As Clarke once candidly put it, "If anyone understands it on the first viewing, we've failed in our intention." If you're looking for explanations, then Clarke's series of 2001 novels provide them, though even he disavows their authority as the sonly true interpretation.
     
  9. captcalhoun

    captcalhoun Admiral Admiral

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    Donnie Darko is an over-rated steaming turd pile of a movie. the end. :bolian:
     
  10. Pilot Ace

    Pilot Ace Captain Captain

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    What the movie is about and explaining what happened and why those things happened are two different things.

    I've only heard/read that the website stuff (including the pages from the "Philosophy of Time Travel") were made in conjunction with the film. I seriously doubt the scenario you're suggesting, as Donnie Darko was not a big budget film. It was closer to an indie film than anything.

    Do you have a source admitting these allegations? As I'm relatively curious to see if what you're saying has any basis in fact, rather than a product of animosity towards the film.

    The complexity of the events of the film, regardless of how admittedly convoluted they are, does not seem like something that could be made up after the fact to me.

    I'm willing to be proven wrong though, but not based on hearsay alone.
     
  11. T'Baio

    T'Baio Admiral Admiral

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    You can believe what you want, because I'm not about to spend the time searching the internet for links to quotes or anything else from several years ago. I have better things to do with my time than convince an entity I don't know on the internet. No personal offence, just pragmatism.

    Like I said, the commentary on the original DVD release makes it obvious Kelly has little concept of a plot that obviously got away from him, Smith speaks of Kelly on his Evening with Kevin Smith 2 DVD, and I have no proof to offer in regards to the web site being created after the fact. I know it was created after the studio realized it was becoming a cult hit, but I'm not about to search down evidence of something I read five years ago.
     
  12. Pilot Ace

    Pilot Ace Captain Captain

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    No offense, but for now I'm calling BS.

    If anyone has some sources, I'd be interested in seeing them.
     
  13. Trent Roman

    Trent Roman Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Except that if was Frank who lured Donnie out of his bedroom in the first place. If Frank had not intervened, Donnie would have died the first time around and the tangeant universe would never have been created. Though, of course, had the tangeant universe not been created, a piece of the airplane destroyed during the apocalypse of the tangeant universe wouldn't have found its way back through time to kill Donnie in the first place.

    This movie gives me a headache.

    Here's my totally-off-the-cuff theory. Donnie was the new Christ ('why are you wearing that silly man costume'). It wasn't enough for him to simply die, he had to choose to die, to sacrifice himself. So Frank in the Bunny Costume (an angel?) manipulates Donnie into creating the tangeant universe, where he gains insight into the nature of the universe (and his outsider status) actually becomes emotionally connected to somebody to the point that he cares enough to kill himself to stave off the apocalypse. There.

    Fictitiously yours, Trent Roman
     
  14. MyCylon

    MyCylon Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I have to say I simply love the atmosphere in this movie. That's what really sets it apart from me.

    I remember piecing it together (without the website) at one point, and it seemed to make sense to me. But, honestly, I don't really remember that anymore :D.

    I think one of the issues is the whole chicken and egg thing. What happened first? Was the tangent universe created from Donnie's reality or did the tangent universe come into existence by itself resulting in everything that followed leading up to its creation (which is a bit of a mind bender)?
     
  15. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    Honestly, I'm not sure if all the pieces of this movie all make sense together. I think the movie works best getting you to think about it and probably whatever interpretation you come up with will be the most meaningful since I don't think there is a "correct" interpretation of the movie's events.

    From what I've heard many do not consider the director's cut to be an improvement.
     
  16. Nardpuncher

    Nardpuncher Rear Admiral

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    Oh oh....hey...why don't you rent the DVD again and listen to the commentary yourself? Or google it like you wanted T'Baio to do.
     
  17. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It doesn't seem the time travel part of the movie can be explained. But it doesn't need to be. The real story is---boy going crazy meets girl, boy going crazy gets girl, going crazy kills girl, crazy boy manages to undo it somehow (this is where the time travel comes in) and save the girl, his martyrdom for love is even more glorious because it is unknown and therefore unappreciated. This is a suffering hero or martyrdom fantasy.

    What's good about Darko is the depiction of mental illness. Even the therapist is well done. The timelines from the chest is marvelously evocative visual for schizophrenia. It also depicts the quotidian horror of personal relationships rather well. "I'm not sure you're really committed to Sparkle Motion." :guffaw:

    All my opinion of course.
     
  18. grabmygoblin

    grabmygoblin Commodore Commodore

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    I was just thinking about this movie the other day, maybe it's all happening in a flash before Donnie's death. he's dying young and before his time. if you believe in a higher power, then you're supposed to believe that tragedies like this happen "for a reason". Donnie gets to see why the plan involves him dying so young.

    the other explanation I like is that Donnie is just insane. Fight Club, A Beautiful Mind and Donnie Darko make up my "peek into batshit insanity" trilogy.

    but the best explanation I've found is that it's very pretty nonsense.
     
  19. Pilot Ace

    Pilot Ace Captain Captain

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    Because I doubt the commentary would include any variation of the words "I did all that shit because it was cool, the movie has no logic to it. Suckers." I imagine T'Baio is making mountains out of mole holes, where Kelly is more likely being tight-lipped and wanting people to come to their own conclusions.

    The burden of proof lays upon the accuser. I've read things in the past that contradict exactly what it is he claims. The sources aren't 100% credible, mostly fansites and what have you, which is why I'm willing to see others that say different. I was just hoping T'Baio was willing to back up his statements instead of coming off as someone that just has such a hostility towards the movie.

    But, thanks for the suggestion?
     
  20. chrisspringob

    chrisspringob Commodore Commodore

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    The story is actually quite similar to The Last Temptation of Christ (which came out in August 1988, and which is playing at the theater that Donnie and Gretchen go to), or at least, to the last act of The Last Temptation of Christ. The biggest difference being that it's a lot more unclear why Donnie has to die than why Jesus has to die.