Donnie Darko is about memories, reconstructed. When we see Ms. Pomeroy marching triumphantly up the steps toward her classroom, with the students in tow behind her, we know that this is not quite how we remember high-school. But it’s probably the way it should have been.
In his debut film, writer/director Richard Kelly launches a catapult scoop full of kitchen sinks at us, and each direct hit takes a chunk out of our castle of good sense and cynical resolve. The picture is a series of cultural all-points bulletins, emotionalized with deeply vexatious, almost-Wagnerian music and leafy-greenness, all swirling around what I guess you could call a ‘plot-adox.’ The story is so impenetrable that after the film’s release, Kelly collected some explanatory scenes for inclusion on the DVD and recorded more than one overly-expository commentary track. Not that it helped.