Donnie Darko – The movie
When a movie is about time travel, a kind of wormhole, human-sized rabbits and weird teenagers, you clearly have to see it twice to process all the information.
Donnie Darko is a difficult movie to digest. To really understand it, you have to watch it at least twice because you can easily get lost in the details. If you do a google search you will find about as many interpretations of the movie as you blinked today.
The movie was carefully made so that there were more explanations for what was happening. With the release of the full version (director’s cut), some of the ambiguity has disappeared and the director’s true vision becomes clearer.
The key to understanding the movie is the book written by Roberta Sparrow (“Dead Grandma”).
I will use a few abbreviations in the description. Let’s clarify from the beginning:
- “UI” – the initial universe (the one in which we live)
- “UP” – the parallel universe (the one in which most of the action of the film takes place) and
- “FCiT” – Philosophy of the time traveler, the book written by Roberta Sparrow.
FCiT states that time is generally a stable (not impenetrable) construction, but sometimes time in the fourth dimension changes its original form.
When this happens, a parallel universe (UP) is created, which is extremely unstable and will only take a few weeks before it collapses into itself. There is a danger that when UP collapses it will cause a black hole capable of destroying the original universe (UI) as well.
This change, the collapse of time, is the theme of the movie. The events took place at midnight on October 2. The next 28 days are spent in a parallel universe. Shortly after UP starts, Frank wakes Donnie up and drags him out of the house. After a few minutes, a huge plane engine crashes into Donnie’s bedroom.
When UP appears, a “Human Receiver” is also chosen. Apparently, this person is chosen at random, and in this case, Donnie is the chosen one. He was chosen, most likely, because he was in the epicenter of UP. The mission of the human receiver is to guide the artifact out of the UP.
Usually, this person is blessed with some supernatural powers to help accomplish the mission. These include: increased strength (Donnie uses it when he sticks the ax into the school water pipe and bronze statue), the ability to evoke fire (Jim Cunningham’s house) or water (floods the school and builds a portal), and telekinesis ( breaks the aircraft engine and sends it to the portal).
At first Donnie is not aware of his responsibilities, not even knowing that he is in a UP, but during the movie he slowly, slowly manages to realize what is happening and what he has to do. Basically, that’s the idea of the movie.
At the end of the movie, a vortex appears over Donnie’s house. This is the beginning of the UP collapse and is centered where it started. Darko is aware of his mission now, so he climbed a mountain to get a better view. The plane with the same jet engine was manipulated to fly at exactly the same time. Donnie breaks the engine using telekinesis, builds a time portal out of the water and guides it inside.
UP crashed safely, and UI, which has been paused all this time, starts exactly where it was slammed. Now the action takes place in reality (UI). Donnie wakes up in his bed laughing after dreaming of some UP events. He goes back to bed, apparently happy with his life now. This experience has brought him closer to God and he is no longer afraid of death. The jet engine falls over his bedroom, killing him.
This being said, hope you enjoy the following Donnie Darko quotes!
15 Donnie Darko Quotes
- “- Donnie Darko: If God controls time, then all time is pre-decided. Every living thing follows along a set path. And if you could see your path or channel, then you could see into the future, right? Like it’s a form of time travel.
– Prof. Kenneth Monnitoff: If we were able to see our destinies manifest themselves visually, then we would be…”
- “An atheist is someone who denies altogether the existence of God. An agnostic is someone who believes that there can be no proof of the existence of God, but does not deny a possibility that God exists.”
- “I want you to concentrate. Failure is not an option.” – Kitty Farmer
- “- Elizabeth Darko: You can go suck a fuck.
– Donnie Darko: How exactly does one suck a fuck?”
- “I hope that when the world comes to an end, I can breathe a sigh of relief, because there will be so much to look forward to.” – Donnie Darko
- “Some people are just born with tragedy in their blood.” – Gretchen Ross
- “- Gretchen Ross: You’re weird.
– Donnie Darko: Sorry.
– Gretchen Ross: No, that was a compliment actually.” – Gretchen Ross
- “- Dr. Lilian Thurman: The search for God is absurd?
– Donnie Darko: It is if everyone dies alone.
– Dr. Lilian Thurman: Does that scare you?
– Donnie Darko: I don’t want to be alone.”
- “- Gretchen Ross: My mom had to get a restraining order against my stepdad. He has emotional problems.
– Donnie Darko: What kind of emotional problems does your dad have?
– Gretchen Ross: He stabbed my mom four times in the chest.”
- “You want your sister to lose weight? Tell her to get off the couch, stop eating Twinkies and maybe go out for field hockey. You know what? No one ever knows what they want to be when they grow up. You know, it takes a little, little while to find that out.” – Donnie Darko
- “- Donnie Darko: Why should I mourn for a rabbit like it was human?
– Karen Pommeroy: Are you saying that the death of one species is less tragic than another?
– Donnie Darko: The rabbit is not like us. It has no history books, no photographs, no knowledge of sorrow or regret. I just don’t see the point in crying over a dead rabbit, who never…”
- “Did you stop and think that maybe infants need darkness? That maybe darkness is part of their natural environment?”
- “Do you see the fear, people? This boy is scared to death of the truth. It breaks my heart to say this, but I believe you are a very troubled and confused young man. I believe you are searching for the answers in all the wrong places.” – Jim Cunningham
- “They say it right when they flood the house, and they tear it to shreds that destruction is a form of creation. So the fact that they burn the money is ironic. They just want to see what happens when they tear the world apart. They want to change things.” – Donnie Darko
- “This famous linguist once said that of all the phrases in the English language, of all the endless combinations of words in all of history, that “cellar door” is the most beautiful.” – Karen Pomeroy
25 Donnie Darko Quotes
- “If the sky were to suddenly open up, there would be no law, there would be no rule. There would only be you and your memories.” – Dr. Lilian Thurman
- “I have reached the end of your book and there are so many things that I need to ask you. Sometimes I’m afraid of what you might tell me. Sometimes I’m afraid that you’ll tell me that this is not a work of fiction. I can only hope that the answers will come to me in my sleep.” – Donnie Darko
- “- Donnie Darko: I made a new friend.
– Dr. Lilian Thurman: Real or imaginary?
– Donnie Darko: Imaginary.”
- “I know I’m not the best communicator, but… whatever happens to you, be honest, tell the truth, even if they do look at you funny. They will. But what you gotta understand, is that almost all of those people are full of shit. They’re all part of this great big conspiracy of bullshit. And they’re scared of people like you, because those…” – Eddie Darko
- “Fear and love are the deepest of human emotions.” – Kitty Farmer
- “The children have to save themselves these days because the parents have no clue.” – Karen Pomeroy
- “- Donnie Darko: How can you do that?
– Frank: I can do anything I want. And so can you.”
- “What if you could go back in time and take all those hours of pain and darkness and replace them with something better?” – Gretchen Ross
- “- Dr. Lilian Thurman: Do you still think about girls a lot? How are things going at school?
– Donnie Darko: I think about girls a lot.
– Dr. Lilian Thurman: I asked you about school, Donnie.
– Donnie Darko: I think about fucking a lot during school.”
- “- Gretchen Ross: I just want it to be at a time when it… When it reminds me just…
– Donnie Darko: When it reminds you how beautiful the world can be?”
- “- Prof. Kenneth Monnitoff: I’m not going to be able to continue this conversation.
– Donnie Darko: Why?
– Prof. Kenneth Monnitoff: I could lose my job.”
- “- Donnie Darko: How’s it feel to have a wacko for a son?
– Rose Darko: It feels wonderful.”
- “- Rose Darko: Our son just called me a bitch.
– Eddie Darko: You’re not a bitch. You’re bitchin’, but you’re not a bitch.”
- “- Dr. Lilian Thurman: Do you feel alone right now?
– Donnie Darko: I don’t know. I’d like to believe I’m not, but I’ve just never seen any proof, so I just don’t debate it anymore. It’s like I could spend my whole life debating it over and over again, weighing the pros and cons. And in the end, I still wouldn’t have any proof. So I just don’t…”
- “- Gretchen Ross: “Donnie Darko”. What the hell kind of name is that? It’s like some sort of superhero or something.
– Donnie Darko: What makes you think I’m not?”
- “Every living creature on Earth dies alone.” – Donnie Darko
- Why do you wear that stupid bunny suit?” -Donnie
- “Why are you wearing that stupid man suit?” -MD Frank
- “Why did you make me flood the school?
FRANK We just want to guide you in the right direction.
DONNIE Who is… we?
FRANK You’ll know soon enough.
DONNIE (desperate) Where did you come from?
FRANK (beat) Do you believe in time travel, Donnie?”
- “What is Graham Greene trying to communicate in this passage?
Why do the children break into Old Misery’s house? Joanie.
JOANIE They wanted to rob him.
MS. POMEROY Joanie, if you had actually read the short story… which, at a whopping thirteen pages must have kept you up all night, you would know that the children find a great deal of money hidden in a mattress. But they burn it.
MS. POMEROY (CONT’D) Donnie Darko, perhaps, given your recent brush with mass destruction, you can give us your opinion?”
- “DONNIE Well… they say it right when they are ripping the place to shreds. When they flood the house. That like… destruction is a form of creation. So the fact that they burn the money is… ironic. They just want to see what happens when they tear the world apart. They want to change things.”
- “DONNIE : I’m sorry. I was in jail once. I accidentally burned down this house. It was abandoned.
I got held back in school again. Can’t drive until I’m eighteen. (babbling) I think when I grow up I want to be a painter. Or maybe a writer or maybe both. Then I’ll write a book and draw the illustrations like a comic book.
You know, change things.
GRETCHEN Donnie Darko is a cool name. Sounds like a superhero.
DONNIE What makes you think I’m not?”
- “Frank: Come… closer.”
- 24. “Smurfette doesn’t fuck.
SEAN Bullshit. Smurfette fucks all the other smurfs. That’s why Papa Smurf made her, ’cause the other smurfs were getting too horny.
RONALD Not Vanity. He’s a homo.
Blam! A bottle shatters.
SEAN Then she fucks ’em all while Vanity watches. And Papa Smurf films it. Ronald takes another sip of Night Train… followed by another dry heave.
Blam! A bottle breaks.
Donnie Darko: First of all, Papa Smurf didn’t create Smurfette. Gargamel did. She was sent in as Gargamel’s evil spy with the intention of destroying the Smurf village. But the overwhelming goodness of the Smurf way of life transformed her. And as for the whole gang-bang scenario – It just couldn’t happen. Smurfs are asexual. They don’t even have reproductive organs under those little white pants. That’s what’s so illogical, you know, about being a Smurf. What’s the point of living… if you don’t have a dick?”
- 25. “Donnie Darko: If God Controls time, then the time is pre-decided.”
- 35 Donnie Darko Quotes
- 1. “Frank: Have you ever seen a portal?”
2. “Donnie Darko: Frank, when’s this gonna stop?
Frank: You should already know that.”
- 3. “Kitty Farmer: Sometimes I doubt your commitment to Sparkle Motion!”
4. “Donnie Darko: I made a new friend.
Dr. Lillian Thurman: Real or imaginary?
- 5. “Donnie Darko: How can you do that?
Frank: I can do anything I want. And so can you.”
6. “Karen Pomeroy: The children have to save themselves these days because the parents have no clue.”
7. “Donnie Darko: I promise that one day, everything’s going to be better for you.”
- 8. “Karen Pomeroy: I don’t think that you have a clue what it’s like to communicate with these kids. We are losing them to apathy… to this prescribed nonsense. They are slipping away.”
- 9. “Donnie Darko: Dear Roberta Sparrow, I have reached the end of your book and… there are so many things that I need to ask you. Sometimes I’m afraid of what you might tell me. Sometimes I’m afraid that you’ll tell me that this is not a work of fiction. I can only hope that the answers will come to me in my sleep. I hope that when the world comes to an end, I can breathe a sigh of relief, because there will be so much to look forward to.”
- 10. “Frank: What the hell were you doing in the middle of the road!?”
- 11. “Donnie Darko: How’s it feel to have a wacko for a son?
Rose Darko: It feels wonderful.”
- 12. “Frank: Burn it to the ground.”
- 13. “Gretchen Ross: What if you could go back in time, and take all those hours of pain and darkness and replace them with something better?”
- 14. “Dr. Lillian Thurman: How are things going at school?
Donnie Darko: I think about girls a lot.
Dr. Lillian Thurman: I asked you about school, Donnie.
Donnie Darko: I think about fucking a lot during school”
- 15. “Dr. Lillian Thurman: What did Roberta Sparrow say to you?
Donnie Darko: She said, ‘Every living creature on earth dies alone.”
- 16. “Rose Darko: Do you even know who Graham Greene is?
Kitty Farmer: I think we have all seen Bonanza.”
17. “Dr. Lillian Thurman: You think the pursuit of God is absurd?
Donnie Darko: It is if everyone dies alone.
Dr. Lillian Thurman: And are you afraid of that?
Donnie Darko: I don’t want to be alone.”
18. “Kitty Farmer: OK ? now, girls. I want you to concentrate. Failure is not an option. And Bethany? If you feel the need to vomit up there, just swallow it.”
- 19. “Frank: 28 days… 6 hours… 42 minutes… 12 seconds. That… is when the world… will end.”
20. “Destruction is a form of creation.” ― Graham Greene
21. “I guess some of us are just born with Tragedy in our blood” ― Richard Kelly
22. “Essentially, love is the Donnie Darko of feelings: Anyone who brags, “I, like, totally get it man,” is either full of crap or really, really high (or they watched the commentary on the DVD).” ― Andrea Lavinthal
23. “I guess some of us are just born with Tragedy in our blood.” ― Gretchen Ross
- “Dr. Lilian Thurman: If the sky were to suddenly open up, there would be no law, there would be no rule. There would only be you and your memories.”
- “Dr. Lilian Thurman: If this world were to end, there would only be you… and him… and no one else.”
- “Eddie: That damn airline better not **** us on the shingle match.”
- “Prof. Kenneth Monnitoff: And did you stop and think that maybe infants need darkness? That maybe darkness is part of their natural development?”
- “Roberta Sparrow/Grandma Death: Every living creature on this earth dies alone.” [Note: Is said at a nearly inaudible level, later repeated by Donnie ]
- “Ronald Fisher: Go back to China, bitch.”
- “Sherita Chen: Chut up!”
- “Donnie Darko: Why do you wear that stupid bunny suit?
Frank: Why are you wearing that stupid man suit?”
- “Donnie: [taking a cigarette at the bus stop] What will happen if you tell mom about this?
Samantha Darko: You’ll put Ariel in the garbage disposal.
Donnie: Goddamn right I will.
Sean Smith: Good shit, eh?
Donnie: Dude, it’s a ****ing cigarette.”
- “Donnie: Do you want your sister to lose weight? Tell her to get off the couch, stop eating twinkies and maybe go out for field hockey. You know what? No one ever knows what they want to be when they grow up. You know it takes a little, little while to find that out, right, Jim? And you… yeah, you. Sick of some jerk shoving your head down the toilet? Well, you know what? Maybe… you should lift some weights, or uh, take a karate lesson and the next time he tries to do it, you kick him in the balls.”
- “Jim Cunningham: Son… DO YOU SEE THIS? This is an Anger Prisoner. A textbook example. DO YOU SEE THE FEAR, PEOPLE? This boy is scared to death of the truth. Son, it breaks my heart to say this, but I believe you are a very troubled and confused young man. I believe you are searching for the answers in all the wrong places…”
- “Donnie: You’re right, actually. I am pretty- I’m, I’m pretty troubled and I’m, I’m pretty confused. But I. . .and I’m afraid. Really, really afraid. Really afraid. But I… I… I think you’re the ****ing Antichrist.”