Donnie Darko Detailed Summary/Explanation And Analysis Of Themes & Film Techniques. 'how Is Donnie Darko Relevant To An Imaginary/Inner Journey?'

1705 words - 7 pages

Donnie Darko is an intelligent, yet delirious and emotionally-ill teenager, who's idealistic fantasy of correcting the wrongs in society, finally appears possible in a 'tangent universe' (an imaginative reality), where he is guided by an imaginary friend Frank, who appears as a malevolent giant bunny in Donnie's day-time hallucinations.In the early stages of the film, Frank literally lures Donnie from reality and introduces him to a tangent universe where Donnie observes what would've been, (yet ultimately is) his own death in reality, where he is crushed by a plummeting airliner engine that crashes through the roof of his house directly above his bedroom where he sleeps. In the tang ...view middle of the document...

Pomeroy), whereas the latter is a shallow, yet logical conclusion that isn't glaringly in keeping with any underlying messages of the film itself.Later in the film, the tangent universe allows for the discovery of Frank, as an authentic person, who is murdered by Donnie as he is directly responsible for a fatal car accident involving Donnie's much- adored 'tangent' girlfriend, Gretchen. This enlightens us as to the reason for Frank's contact with Donnie. - Frank has traveled back through time, to in-turn; open a port-hole to Donnie's future and enable Donnie to view aspects of his life ahead as a series of visual manifestations, (ie post airliner engine catastrophe).In doing this, he informs Donnie that Armageddon will arrive in twenty-eight days, which conveniently serves as a manipulative motive to aid his primary objective: - To discourage Donnie in continuing his life in reality; in the hope that Frank's life will be spared.At this point in the film, the recurring theme of time travel claims its stronghold, regardless of previous acknowledgements and inferences. For instance, in one particular scene Frank implies he is from the future, and in numerous others, Donnie is seen eagerly researching and discussing theoretical revelations, pertaining to the philosophy of time travel. Evidently though, these scenes and others, such as the 'Frank-influenced' despoilment of Donnie's school and the arson of a corrupt perverts house, illustrate critical stages of Donnie's inner journey - that is, from a disillusioned teenager, troubled by the folly of mainstream attitudinal beliefs, to an individual who transcends reality in order to subsist in an idealistically superior society, of his own invention.After twenty-seven days of endeavor through outrageous public displays and clandestine defilement, the foretold event of Armageddon looms near. Donnie ambles through the final moments of his tangent existence (inner journey), as his character-defining tenacious dynamism begins to fade. As expected, he assumes his fatalistic mentality of "all living things have a set path," and that humans are merely vessels traveling along "God's channel," gradually nearing a pre-determined destination. At this stage, Donnie's mindset suggests a search for spiritual solace and religious meaning.Whilst denying an utterly defeatist outlook, Donnie exerts a courageous exterior by modestly welcoming his fate, in the hope that there will be "so much to look forward to." He is of course referring to a reformed humanity that is devoid of inadequacy, corruption and suppression.It is here, that the film takes an unexpected turn, whereby Donnie's inner journey in the tangent universe is virtually thwarted due to the sub-conscious acknowledgement of an audible phrase, originally voiced by his late girlfriend, Gretchen. It is part of her conjecture of emotional solace: "What if you could go back through time, and replace all those hours of pain and darkness with something better?...


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