A few years ago, I saw “Donnie Darko,” one of my now-favorite movies, for the first time at a limited time re-release.
Once the movie ended, I was awestruck. I adored everything about the movie – the cinematography, the soundtrack, the witty dialogue, the casting and the plot.
I spent days thinking about what it meant, reading the website and watching videos on it. Eventually I bought the screenplay and watched the director’s cut.
A lot of people find this movie really confusing, and I can see why. It’s a lot different from what most people are used to watching.
It has some abstraction from a normal timeline and some things that are left ambiguous as to whether they actually happened or were only imagined by Donnie.
However, that’s what makes this movie such a gem to me.
It was one of the first movies that I had to really work to understand, and it stuck with me.
I wish there were more movies that didn’t just spoon-feed the meaning to you.
While there’s certainly a time and place for movies that are easy to watch and don’t need a lot of thought, it’s the ones that aren’t as obvious that captivate me.
I feel like movies that need more interpretation are crafted more carefully.
“Donnie Darko” is a movie that was made with a lot of passion, and that makes me love it.
Some movies, you can just tell when everyone working on it truly loved what they were making. There are so many breathtaking, small details in the film’s aesthetic.
The soundtrack feels so intuitive, and the score is equally as good. It’s easily one of my favorite movie scores.
It’s also so well written. For a serious movie, there are some hysterically funny parts that make me laugh until I cry.
Because of “Donnie Darko,” I’ve become a lot more interested in movies, as well as in analyzing and critiquing them.
Seeing a movie has become a much more sacred experience because this film sparked a passion in me.
Instead of just watching something and deciding it was either good or bad, I’ll put more thought into the things I did and didn’t like.
Even absolute dumpster fires of movies usually have at least one redeeming trait, and even masterpieces have their flaws.
I’ve gotten into watching a lot of video essays about movies, like the ones by Lindsay Ellis.
They can offer some really interesting insight into what a movie means, and I might learn of other interpretations I never thought of.
Because of “Donnie Darko,” I’ve also become a little more interested in independent movies.
It was released at Sundance in 2001 and got a limited theater release which initially didn’t do well, but it became a cult classic over the years.
Although I’m obviously biased, I feel like everyone should give this movie a chance. It’s also set around Halloween, so now is a great time to watch it.
It changed my outlook on film, and it’s a movie I can always go back to and find something I never noticed previously.
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