Donnie Darko

Donnie Darko ★★★★

A film packed to the brim with a facade of existential philosophy that is more about the youthful pondering of said philosophies. The low-budget but high-concept nature of the film really resonates, and the eerie aesthetic is still quite evocative today. The concepts are presented well, yet for all its surrealist techniques its a film that clearly spells out its weighty ideas to the viewer, acting instead as an edgy teen-rebellion film that attempts to bluff its actual depth with vague prose in the screenplay that will validate any overthinking teen. But while I frame that in a negative light, the film is remarkably intelligent where it counts, using the existentialism as a springboard for a coming-of-age story that balances mental health issues, fantasy, metaphysics, and the deepness of the mind as easily as it balances its erratic tonal shifts. A must watch for any high schooler.

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