When a film is confusing because it genuinely forces you to think about what you just saw, it's a great film. When it's confusing because it relies on a universe of rules completely made up for the convenience of a legitimately nonsensical plot, it's just stupid.
Revisiting DD for the first time since being a teenager highlights just how much it is a "teen movie"—one for teens smart enough to listen to Joy Division but not experienced enough to know that Ian Curtis isn't a role model. Parts that once seemed cathartic now seem juvenile, and its too-much-too-soon sensation may have hurt Kelly more than it helped him. But it is a great first film, even if we're still waiting.
The mainstream breakthrough for Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal as siblings who are both excellent here. It is an interesting story that asks "if one can choose one's own destiny, life and eventual death when that moment arrive". Strong supporting acting help as well. Love the 1980s atmosphere but the director's cut ruin the mystery and should only be seen by fans after seeing the original version.
i love the dreamy ambiguity of the original here but it's been somewhat spoiled by having seen the way too explainy (and theoretically undernourished) directors cut. despite the decade and a bit of relentless nostalgia that followed, this has aged rather well, subtly cast and no pointy pointy look 80s referencing. but like i said, sometimes less is more.
There's an eeriness to this classic that keeps me coming back. The soundscape intertwined with surreal images of Frank and Donnie intrigue me. The time travel gets lost on me, though I love the Back To The Future mention. The chemistry between the Gylenhaal sibs is the right mixture of a '80's John Hughes-like feel with tender sentimentality that is refreshing. Need to watch this many more times!
No doubting the credentials for its teen cult status, this film feels more like a lucky fluke, a strange concoction of seemingly positive features that hide a vast vaccum, a bizarre conundrum. It works well when you buy the idea that something profoundly metaphysical is taking place through a clever twist of mundane reality, exposing some cosmic truth, however this never really happened, no rabbit was ever there.
Too confusing the first time around, and later when re-watching it somehow loses some of the emotional punch, because Donnie becomes more and more of an annoying sociopath. And, while it has some sort of circular, self-referential completeness when you don’t think about it… as soon as you do… the conceit either falls apart or it feels uncomfortable.
A load of old nonsense, but Jake Gyllenhaal is very watchable, and there is some great support. Had to read the film's wikipedia entry to understand some of the plot (some weird editing towards the end), and the reveal is just tedious. Loved the 80s music though, and that rabbit is pretty scary ...