I just finished watching Donnie Darko. I kept thinking of Harvey throughout the film. If you haven’t seen it, go rent the DVD right now. This is an intense moving film. It’s dark, beautifully acted and breathtaking to watch. Jake Gyllenhaal (sorry, I know I botched that, but am too ready for bed to go check the correct spelling) did a marvelous job keeping me guessing throughout. Is he crazy? Is Frank real? What is going on?
I didn’t even really know until I watched some of the deleted scenes; I’m kind of sad that I now know. The movie is better as the journey than the destination. I loved the subtle late-Eighties touches: the music, the clothes (button-fly jeans… oh yes), the references to Back to the Future, the Halloween Costumes (RonaldMania was my favorite). It was so well done, I want to watch it again just for nuance and those little things I missed the first time around.
Back to the Harvey connection. This movie felt like my generation’s Harvery. We have society’s reaction to the mentally ill, and the societal twist. This is Harvery for the cynical Prozac popping Ridalin kids from the Eighties. This is our search for what’s real and true in a world of 30-second issues, fallen idols and missing authority figures. It’s a great film, and one that may keep me up till the wee hours of the morning thinking about it… and don’t watch the deleted scenes if you want to interpret the meaning of the film for yourself.