Donnie Darko: We still don’t really know what it’s about

Intro by Maria

Coming up, you’ll be listening to Brandon and me talk about the 2001 cult classic Donnie Darko. The movie takes place during a span of 28 days in the 1980s, and it focuses on teenager Donnie Darko, who’s learning advanced time travel theory. Who is teaching him this advanced time travel theory? I don’t know—aliens, probably. Just kidding—a man dressed up in a rabbit suit is teaching him, or at least guiding him, so that he can eventually go back in time and sacrifice himself to save the ones he loves. While this may be true, his family and his therapist all think that he is suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, rather than actually being guided by some man in a rabbit suit.

A lot of other things take place during this movie: Donnie floods the school, burns down the token pedophile’s house, falls in love, and starts to really learn that a neighbor of his, who the kids lovingly call “Grandma Death,” wrote a book about time travel, and it’s around here that we start to think that Donnie’s psychotic episodes may be more about time travel rather than mental illness, but the movie never actually affirms either side, so we’re just left to wonder—Is this a story about a teenager suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, or is this a story about a teenager learning the true secret of time travel? I don’t know…well, I guess we know because everyone says it’s the latter, but do we really know?

All this plus a quick game of Who’s That Gyllenhaal in the next Peculiar Picture Show.

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