Donnie Darko Depicts Darkness

Sam Nguyen, Reporter

In 2001, an American science fiction drama film called “Donnie Darko” made its way to the big screen. Richard Kelly, the writer of this in-depth film, features a daring, originally envisioned, intelligent, and troubled teenage boy known as Donnie Darko (Jake Gyllenhaal). The film depicts the adventures of Darko as he seeks the meaning and significance behind his troubling doomsday-related visions.

Donnie is awakened by a figure in a monstrous rabbit costume on Oct. 2, 1988. The figure – introduced as “Frank,” informs him of the nearing of the end of the world. On returning home, he finds that a jet engine had crashed into his bedroom. His sister, Elizabeth (Maggie Gyllenhaal) tells him that investigators don’t know where it came from. Still acting under the influence of Frank, Donnie creates havoc while informing his psychotherapist, who diagnosed Darko with paranoid schizophrenia.

Interested in the topic, Donnie asks his science teacher about time travel and is soon given the book, The Philosophy of Time Travel. The book was written by a previous science teacher and now a seemingly senile old women called Roberta Sparrow.

All of the scenes contribute to a very incredible cause in the movie. Donnie Darko is chosen to save the world through his actions. There are two different universes depicted in this film, the Primary Universe (the one we exist in now) and the Tangent Universe (the parallel universe where most of the film is set in). As his journey continues, Donnie soon realizes the universe that he is in as well as what his actions mean to the world.

I personally love the concept of time travel and elements within it. This movie is beautifully directed and every part of it is put there for a reason. It has people thinking about things — which great movies do. At the same time, I think teenagers can relate to Darko in certain ways, whether it’s through his thoughts or actions.