“Feeling detached from the world…”



What “mental illness/disorder” does Donnie Darko have?  He is taking pills for Schizophrenia but he later finds out they are only placebo’s. The scene where his doctor tells him they are placebo’s is only in the director’s cut…


Richard Kelly’s career-making 2001 surrealist science fiction masterpiece, “Donnie Darko,” features Jake Gyllenhaal as the titular character: a paranoid schizophrenic high school student troubled by visions of a sinister-looking figure in a rabbit costume named “Frank.” The end of the world is coming very soon, according to Frank, and Donnie may have something to do with it.

“Donnie Darko” has some very strong metaphysical leanings, and whether Donnie is truly schizophrenic is certainly open to interpretation, but his delusions, hallucinations, disorganized thoughts, erratic behavior, and blunted affect are all common symptoms of the disease. As the audience, we are privy to Donnie’s experiences and understand why he does the things that he does, but that doesn’t mean that Frank is real or that Donnie isn’t having a psychotic episode. Certainly, an outside observer would probably assume that he is. By making the viewer question reality, the film succeeds in communicating a vital aspect of schizophrenia.

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