Is Donnie Darko SF? Yes, but itâ€™s much more than that, itâ€™s a drama about family relationships, a mystery that will have your brain working overtime, it even flirts with horror at times. For me though itâ€™s a love story more than anything else. Would you commit the ultimate sacrifice to save someone you love, knowing that in doing so theyâ€™d no longer even remember you â€“ that is the essence of Donnie Darko and what makes the final half hour such an emotional experience second time around, when you know whatâ€™s going to happen. Itâ€™s a film that can not only be enjoyed on repeat viewing but actually improves with them.
Jake Gyllenhaal is outstanding as Donnie, but there isnâ€™t a duff performance in the entire film. Richard Kelly directs with an abundance of style, an ear for music, and a deft touch when it comes to the family scenes. Even if he never makes another film of this calibre again, which from what Iâ€™ve heard of Southland Tales may be the case, at least we have this gem to treasure.
â€œDonnie Darko? What the hell kind of name is that? It’s like some sort of superhero or something.â€
â€œWhat makes you think I’m not?â€
You can read Dipa’s first impression of the film here.