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26

Taken from the IMDB trivia entry for Donnie Darko: The movie takes place in 1988. Frank tells Donnie the world will end in 28 days, 06 hours, 42 minutes, and 12 seconds. If you add these numbers, the sum is 88. When Samantha asks when she can have kids, Donnie says: "Not until 8th grade." Donnie mentions to his therapist that his dog Callie died ...


20

Basically what happens is Donnie ends up sending the jet engine back, and in the new timeline (yay time travel!) he stays in bed, gets killed, and prevents most of the events from happening near the end of the movie. Wiki link


12

I think this was done as a way for Kelly to show a more simplistic time rather than a time with all the technological advances being made. Also, there is a theory I saw here, in fact about the way the number 88 is a theme in the movie which would explain a lot about using this time period.


11

Spoiler Alert if you have never seen this movie, stop reading now. This answer is going to have multiple specific details pertaining to this movie. Ok. Everyone gone that doesn't want to know this stuff? Good. First... remember, whenever you step into a book or movie, you enter the universe of the writer. The writer creates the rules of that universe, ...


9

I think it is a mistake to take the events of Donnie Darko literally, including the ending. The main character Donnie is developing schizophrenia. The schizophrenia causes Donnie to believe he is at the center of a time-travel adventure that just might save the universe. The movie shows how this hallucinated fantasy would unfold if it were reality. So ...


7

The movie shows an alternate timeline that diverts from the real timeline. Donnie Darko should have died in the beginning, but he avoided it, because he was lured out by Frank. The movie is about Donnie Darko learning about the theorie of alternative timelines. At the end the diverted timeline starts to collapse and the world is destroyed, as Frank ...


6

I think it is a mistake to take the events of Donnie Darko literally, or to look for a logically consistent timeline or timelines. There is a key extra scene on the DVD, in which Donnie is having a conversation with his father and says, "Dad, I'm crazy." Not sure why this was omitted, but it strongly supports the interpretation that the film shows Donnie ...


5

The supernatural force that appoints Donnie to end the alternate universe adopts Frank because Donnie killed him previously. As a manipulated dead, Frank knows what is happening and his job is to guide Donnie on his path to correcting the timeline of the primary universe by returning the jet engine to its original universe; Donnie is unaware of all this. ...


5

The movie is pretty complex, so this answer mightn't make sense without a rewatch, but effectively the fat man is an FAA employee (Federal Aviation Administration). We know this as we see him among the group at both the start and end of the film. The usual explanation is that the FAA are so perturbed by what's happened with the jet engine that they've sent ...


5

There is a total of 2 timelines that we observe in Donnie Darko. Primary Timeline (Primary Universe) Secondary Timeline (Tangent Universe) The primary timeline, is the one we see at the beginning of the film, starting from Donnie waking up in a random location, biking his way back home. We continue seeing this timeline until the night he first sees ...


5

I remember from viewing with audio-commentary, that Kelly said in the first appearance of such a scene, that he didn't want to take any side. So I think he included it to narrow down the timeframe. There are many other indicators that show, that the movie takes place in the 80s. It seems normal, that in a time of an upcoming presidential election the ...


5

The appearance of the election seems to be just a representation of the times and possibly a direct parallel to the feelings of Donnie himself. An election represents uncertainty and balance shifts whereas Donnie's life seems to mirror that setting of an uncertain youth. Battling with bipolar disorder having his balance shifted a lot of the time combined ...


4

The key element that some of the other answers miss is that Donnie makes a choice when he discovers how the whole alternative universe and weird timeline stuff actually works. In the timeline that takes up most of the movie, his actions and choices result in the death of someone he loves (not strictly his fault, but wouldn't have happened if he had made ...


4

28:06:42:12 comes from the lunar year: 27d 7h 43m 11s = 27:07:43:11 add or subtract 1 from every number.. and u get 28d 06h 42m 12s


4

One of the themes of the movie is 'outsiders', people that for one reason or another are not fully integrated or fully understood by their peers, parents, siblings. Cherita is an outsider because she looks different and is a bit awkward. The movie is set in the mid 80's where perhaps there were fewer asian immigrants in the USA, and perhaps it was a little ...


3

She asked him about girls, and he said he met a girl. She then asked about school and his family, but he was stuck thinking about girls, and watching Christina Applegate on Married with Children. He never mentioned his therapist. I do not know the significance of the scene other than to make him seem like a normal teenage boy.


3

The real-life Frank that runs over Donnie's girlfriend is Elizabeth's (Donnie's sister) boyfriend. We see him drive past Donnie at the start of the movie after dropping her off at home shortly before the engine crashes into the house. You can see this sequence of events more clearly at the end of the film. The Frank that Donnie speaks to throughout the ...


3

Honestly I think it has to do with what Donnie's personality is like. He often seems very cynical and void of emotion, except when his sister says he's a dick. He usually just observes things like a zombie of some sort. I think what the scene represents is another side of Donnie that most people wouldn't see normally. The psychiatrist is trying to break ...


3

@DustinDavis has given a very good answer, but to focus on just the bunny aspect: Firstly, from 25-things-you-may-not-know-about-donnie-darko/: Why is Donnie's spectral guide a giant rabbit? Kelly has said it's not a reference to 'Harvey,' the classic 1950 comedy where everyone thinks Jimmy Stewart is crazy for conversing with a man-sized rabbit ...


2

Actually, what happened to Jim is irrelevant because -- like many of the events in Donnie Darko -- the whole bit about Donnie heroically revealing Jim as a child molester is a fantasy in Donnie's mind. As I explained in answer to another question about Donnie Darko, the movie shows the main character Donnie developing schizophrenia. The schizophrenia causes ...


2

Personally, I don't think there's any deeper significance in the line. It comes off, to me at least, as very much the opposite of punishment for bad behavior. I'm not even sure 'Rule of Funny' applies here either, since it doesn't seem to violate any logic. It sounds like an attempt at shedding some light on the personality of Donnie's dad by his ...


2

The English compound noun cellar door is commonly used as an example of a word or phrase which is beautiful in terms of phonaesthetics (i.e., sound) with no regard for semantics (i.e., meaning). It has been variously presented either as merely one beautiful instance of many, or as the most beautiful in the English language; as the author's ...


2

I believe the scene is suppose to reflect Donnie's lust for Jena Malone's character Gretchen. Not only this however, but also how easily Donnie can be transformed by hypnosis. Donnie is very vulnerable to the powers of hypnosis and becomes more cynical as we see from him masterbating. Seeing what the hypnotist evokes from Donnie by accident can lead the ...


1

Quoting from IMBD FAQ page: Richard Kelly has given various reasons for this: 1. It was a favorite time, when he was a teenager. 2. Very few films have been set in the '80s. 3. He didn't feel comfortable setting a teenage film now, with no knowledge of current teenage life. (It could also be a reference to Back to the Future as both movies take place in ...



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