Mega Fan vs Giant Cynic - Donnie Darko

With Easter just around the corner we decided it was time for two lucky souls to battle it out over a Halloween film. Wait, Halloween film? Yes, but it has a rabbit in it (even if it is a man in a “stupid bunny suit”) so it definitely counts. So this week Jordan Olomon and Jenny Cooke debate whether Donnie Darko is a murky and angsty drama, or just a bit pointlessly weird.

7th March 2016

Mega Fan - Jordan Oloman

Teenage angst sells, and Donnie Darko is the king of this genre. It’s so tragically emo and surreal, but still funny at the times when it needs to be. That’s why I think it’s a brilliant film.

It’s got that suburban, high school coming-of-age feel of 10 Things I Hate About You or Clueless, just if it was directed by David Lynch. The looming notion of the end of the world is dark and atmospheric, and just the design and presence of ‘Frank’ stayed with me for years after the film concluded. It’s almost like a parody of those aforementioned films, grounding the fanciful, happy-go-lucky characters whose only problems are popularity and prom dates with a grittier alternative, tackling therapy and death. I’ve also got a soft spot in my heart for films that can really scare you with atmosphere, not jump-scares!

Giant Cynic - Jenny Cooke

Now I hate to hate but time travel, apocalypses and bunnies…BUNNIES? The nightmare-inducing rabbit aside, what the hell is this film? In my life, I must have seen it upwards of five times trying to understand the hype, but it still doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

Aesthetically, it’s enjoyable enough, but plot-wise it makes about as much sense as the fact Tesco’s started selling Easter eggs in January. Even after shamelessly googling what it was supposed to be about, and then watching it again, I still confess to be confused as all hell. Even if I were taking it at face value, and pretending I understand it, the Smurf conversation adds…what exactly to the narrative? There are better films that make a lot more sense is all I’m going to say, and why a rabbit? Important question, let’s be real.

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