Wednesday, 30 March 2011

A-Z #63: Donnie Darko: Directors Cut

You can pick up hundreds of DVD's for a round-pound each - it doesn't matter. Its never about quantity, its about quality. A-Z is my way of going through my collection, from A-Z, and understanding why I own the films ... or you can tell me why I should sell 'em

#63 - Donnie Darko: Directors Cut 

Why did I buy it?

I won't go into the reasons 'why' Donnie Darko is a good film - I think all of us fanboys are not wholly convinced it is as good as we said it was when we first watched it, but it still remains. Fact is, I briefly went through a phase whereby I sold a bunch of DVDs only to purchase the double-discs or the special editions. Amongst the titles 'swapped' were Goodfellas (from the flip-disc to the double-disc), Deep Impact (the first edition had no special features on whatsoever) and Speed (again, the first edition merely had a trailer...). Donnie Darko was rereleased in its directors cut and, I assumed, it would be better that the original theatrical...

Why do I still own it?

I'm not convinced it is much better. In fact, I doubt it is better. But what is interesting is how, the first few watches of Donnie Darko led me to believe that the film was about God and fate and how, everyone is scared when they die, but Donnie is not scared by the end, because he knows by that point that when he dies its all good. His time-blip showed him that there are forces outside of this world and that - more importantly - when he dies, it is not the end. So, it doesn't bother him that he doesn't get together with Malone, it doesn't bother him that his family will mourn his loss - he knows that his death is not in vain and he will eventually see them again. The bunny is the angel guiding him through this peek-behind-the-curtain.
When you watch the theatrical cut, this is not as clear. I could argue my 'view' in whatever way I wanted, in the theatrical cut, there simply is not enough evidence to prove my theory. Suffice to say, the Directors Cut does provide that information. To the point that some of the questions the psychiatrist asks Donnie si specifically about faith and God - and the afterlife. Unofortunately, the ambiguity of the theatical cut is what is preferred and you cannot interpret that in only one way - and that is the beauty of it. I think the directors cut does show how Richard Kelly may have just fallen onto this successful film - opposed to being the widely touted 'incredible young filmmaker' that he was at the time.
Too dated? Too religious? Should I sell it? You tell me.

Large Association of Movie Blogs


  1. That special edition is worth the sticker price just for the doc feature about DD's biggest fan (the guy who gives Kelly a kiss on the cheek and then makes a run for it).

    Might not be all it's cracked up to be, but for my money it's still a damned fine film.

  2. I think its fair to say it isn't as good as its 'cracked' up to be, but at the time, many people thought it the 'best film of the year...' etc when, in hindsight... maybe not.

  3. Kelly's propensity for making high-class trash after Donnie shouldn't affect our enjoyment of Donnie, so hell yeah, keep it. It's got a hell of a lot going for it, from solid performances all around, a killer soundtrack, and again, the Swayze. It's also a damn funny film considering the subject matter.

  4. But, do I keep the directors cut? Probably should just stick to the theatrical if anything...

  5. I thought you dumped the theatrical in favor of the director's? So long as you have one, I wouldn't worry too much about which. Though, if you have both, yeah, just pick your favorite.

  6. I did dump the theatrical for the directors cut ... without having seen the directors cut. I haven't got both. Just the directors cut... :(


Copyright 2008-2015. All posts & reviews are property of Columb and should not be reproduced in whole, or in part, without express permission from the author.