Film Review: Don’t Worry Darling Offers Drama on and off the Screen
Don’t Worry Darling is as excellent as it is suspicious, not only horrifying but a puzzle that is not so easy to start and not easy to find the pieces.
This 1950’s inspired film was directed by Olivia Wilde with screenplay by Katie Silberman. Editors include Jennifer Lame, Affonso Gonçalves, and Andrew Leven along with the beautiful costume design by Arianne Philips. The cast includes the very actress known for her suspenseful movies, Florence Pugh (Alice Chambers), Harry Styles (Jack Chambers), Chris Pratt (Frank), Gemma Chan (Shelley), Olivia Wilde (Bunny), Nick Kroll (Bill), Dita Von Teese (Gigi), and Timothy Simons (Dean).
Don’t Worry Darling has an important and emotional cast. Not only do they fit their roles but every character feels like a part of the small puzzle that is Don’t Worry Darling.
The 1950’s-themed movie shows our lovely couple Alice and Jack who live in the modern dream-like suburbia that is a small part of the experimental company named Victory. The company provides the houses that all the couples live in. With the provided houses, all the men go to work at the headquarters of Victory while the women stay home and fulfill their wifely duties or go shopping.
The town consists of fancy parties, neighborly get-togethers, elegant drinks, and the occasional ominous flashbacks. Everyone’s life is on a strict routine and everyone seems to comply, except for when one woman disagrees with the lifestyle everyones has taken up. This shakes up Alice, in particular, to investigate the strange goings-on that the town is hiding from the other wives and even causes some of them to step out of their routine. With the investigation, Alice leads into a deeper and more secretive vortex.
As I mentioned earlier, all the characters felt fit to play the role they were assigned, and it was only the matter of how they used the elements of their character to create that suspenseful atmosphere. Florence Pugh does an excellent job at portraying the troubled and impactful role of Alice. She uses her character to express the stress and concern of trying to find answers and figure out what the true story is throughout the movie. Pugh’s character makes you want the answers and to step out of the confinement their world offered.
The role of Harry Styles didn’t quite sit right with me throughout the movie. This is not to say his acting was substandard, but Styles didn’t give me the element of Jack that I was looking for. I felt Styles looked too sweet and humble to play Jack. I expected a more rigid and tough character who displays the components of the suburban male. Jack was able to communicate the secretive and mysterious persona, but so do all the other characters.
As for background characters–including Bunny, Frank, Gigi, Margret, and Bill–they all felt very secretive and somewhat evasive of their surroundings.They felt as if they wished to avoid all other issues and unanswered questions that were happening in their town. It was a “smile now and ask questions never” level of communication.
When starting the film, Don’t Worry Darling felt warm and cozy. The movie made me feel safe with the adoring modern and neat suburbia storyline. The concept of a routine filled and vibrant life along with classical mechanics of the 1950s has always been a genre and movie style I could admire.
As time went on in the movie, you start to see the world unraveling and the people breaking down. They had a good way of making you wonder what all of these scenes and messages meant. I was encouraged to come up with theories and possible conclusions of my own. The suspense was good, but when you think of horror you don’t think of Don’t Worry Darling. There were no true jumpscares but I was unsettled and nervous like I could feel something about to happen.
The music and the sounds are very important to pay attention to. The music makes you queasy and anxious and sometimes it is even enough for you to cover your eyes. There were scenes that made you flinch and made you have the strangest looks on your face.
The ending, on the other hand, wasn’t anything I was expecting, but not in a good way–it was different, but it wasn’t quite the spin I was looking for. I had hoped the ending would be more lurid, horrific, or contain an unexpected plot twist. Even though the movie tried to have a plot twist it didn’t come as a big surprise, and it was almost anticlimactic. The ending could have been worked better and give more of the twisted storyline to Don’t Worry Darling.
The Off-Camera Cast Gossip:
Later on after shooting and before the premiere of Don’t Worry Darling, there were possible disputes involving the cast. Most tense situations with the cast are mostly rumored or stated. Most alleged drama was surrounded by Olivia Wilde, and there were possible arguments between Florence Pugh and a new romance with Harry Styles. Even after these allegations most were confirmed or explained to be a misunderstanding. There were rumors stating that Harry Styles had spat on co-star Chris Pratt which was confirmed to not be true. Even during casting for Don’t Worry Darling, Harry Styles’ character, Jack, was supposed to be played by another actor which was eventually cut out due to scheduling conflict. Later on during filming, people thought that Pugh wasn’t approving of Styles and Wilde’s relationship even when there was no direct comment from any of the stars themselves about the relationship.
Don’t Worry Darling is an anticipatory movie with much potential that almost hit a climax but didn’t quite fit the horror aspect it set out to achieve. It is still an enjoyable and interesting movie that I would recommend to people if they enjoy the colorful aesthetics of the 1950s incorporated with the horror of living a routine life.