Don’t Worry Darling | Review

After all the controversy and gossip, Don’t Worry Darling has arrived in theaters and it has quite the story to tell.

Even before the drama that erupted at the Venice Film Festival, I was curious to learn what Don’t Worry Darling was all about. All of the trailers had made it more than plain that something weird was going on, but there weren’t enough hints to make it clear what that something was, though many had their theories. At last though, I got in to the theater to experience the story for myself, and there is indeed something very wrong with the “perfect” world our characters live in.

As the trailers showed us, the story takes place in a seemingly perfect town belonging to a company known only as the Victory Project. Everything in this town is ordered and regulated: it’s always sunny, everyone’s beautiful, and the couples inhabiting the town all have perfect lives of luxury.

Or do they? As we follow the story through the eyes of Alice (Florence Pugh), it quickly becomes clear that something is wrong with this world, though the exact nature of what’s going on isn’t made clear until the final act. This truth, while shocking, is also one of the film’s weak points. The true nature of the Victory Project is never directly explained to the audience, though enough hints are given that one can probably work the details out on repeat viewing. That being said, I think the film would’ve benefited from a bit more exposition as to how the Victory Project was operating because I left the film with a lot of questions as to how this could be happening with no one noticing. For what it’s worth, I do appreciate the shock factor director Olivia Wilde appeared to be going for when it’s revealed what the reality of the situation is. If you take a minute to think about it, the truth of Alice’s situation is quite horrifying.

Another flaw I have to talk about is Harry Styles, who plays Alice’s husband Jack. I should note this isn’t a critique of his overall performance, for the most part he plays his part quite well and was a good counterpoint to Florence Pugh’s Alice. The problem came in the last act of the film when certain truths are brought to light. Styles is clearly doing his best to reflect a shift in his character, but it doesn’t quite work. I won’t go so far as to say he was miscast in this movie, but his performance in the final part of the film could’ve been better.

On the other hand, Florence Pugh is an absolute delight throughout this movie. I was sold on this movie the moment I knew she was in it because I enjoyed her in Midsommar so much. Her character arc as Alice is magnificent, and she takes it into a whole different level when Alice learns the truth. Pugh’s performance made viewing this film completely worth it because I found myself eager to follow along with Alice and find out just what was going on.

Despite these flaws, especially in the last act when the story comes within inches of coming apart, I really did enjoy Don’t Worry Darling and the story it’s trying to tell. There is a good story here, with a very relevant message given everything that’s been in the news about women and women’s rights. Even a story that doesn’t quite stick the landing should get some credit for trying to articulate a story like this one. That’s why I say to give Don’t Worry Darling a chance. If you go in with an open mind, I think you’ll be surprised at how much you enjoy it.

Don't Worry Darling
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Becky O'Brien
Armed with a PhD. in Musicology, Becky loves to spend their time watching movies and playing video games, and listening to the soundtracks of both whenever they have the time. Can usually be seen writing for Cinelinx though they also do a bit of work for Screen Age Wasteland too. Their favorite superheroes are Batwoman and Spider-Gwen.
dont-worry-darling-reviewAn interesting story and a great performance from Florence Pugh don't quite make up for the weakness of the film's final act and the less than stellar performance from Harry Styles. Despite these flaws, the overall film is enjoyable and it does have a good story at its core.