A Human Rabbit Heralds the End of the World in Virginia
August 26, 2021
Donnie Darko is one of the most famous films set in Virginia. This year, the film, which was considered a big surprise hit when it was released on a VHS, celebrates its 20th anniversary. Although Donnie Darko wasn’t a box office hit, the reel quickly became a cult film. With this debut, the director Richard Kelly made a film that left an imprint on film enthusiasts’ memories long after it was shown in cinemas. However, the psychological thriller from 2001 is anything but understandable at first glance. To this day, numerous fan forums are still actively arguiging how the resolution of the film should be interpreted. The complex story allows for several possible interpretations.
The young Jake Gyllenhaal plays the leading role in the mystery thriller. As a teenager, he convinced himself to see a human hare, which announces the end of the world to him. At first glance, Donnie Darko is an entirely typical teenager. He lives in an orderly family with understanding parents and a lovely friend. The social setting is anything but weird. However, Darko has an apparent psychological problem as he begins seeing a three-meter-tall talking rabbit named Frank. Frank speaks in a deep voice and gives Donnie advice.
Does Frank Know the Future?
What some may see as insanity saves his life once. When Frank suggests going outside, an aeroplane turbine hits the ceiling of Donnie’s room a little later. Another piece of advice, however, seems strange, Frank advises Donnie to destroy a school. What is always true in all of this is Frank’s prognosis about the future and he seems to have prophetic skills.
Unsurprisingly, Donnie’s family is not very fond of the new friend. His parents are just as perplexed as a psychologist and the motivational speaker at school. The situation escalates even further from there as the human hare explains to Donnie that the world will end. As if that weren’t enough, he also knows the exact date and time. In precisely 28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes and 12 seconds, the time will come.
In the film, the viewer has difficulties distinguishing between imagination and reality. The confusing story split people’s minds, which left a lot of room for interpretation, since the director didn’t offer an ultimate solution to his riddle. Time travel seems to play a significant role in this—many attempts at deciphering the film point in this direction. In an interview, Kelly himself once hinted at the idea of an unstable tangent universe, which is a parallel universe that needs to be closed again. All of the characters in the movie seem to be working towards bringing Donnie closer to his mission. Numerous dialogues can also support this theory as well.
Moreover, countless great songs from the 1980s and the excellent title song make Donnie Darko a film which even today magically captures its viewers attention. The Donnie Darko character also brought immense success for Jake Gyllenhaal, who had his first big breakthrough in Hollywood with the role.