by Allie Vasserman
December 8, 2022
Don’t Worry Darling is a psychological thriller film directed by Olivia Wilde. The movie stars Florence Pugh and Harry Styles as the married Alice and Jack Chambers, Chris Pine as Jack’s boss Frank (who is also the head of the Victory Project), Olivia Wilde as Alice’s best friend Bunny, Kiki Layne as Alice’s old friend Margaret, and Gemma Chan as Frank’s wife, Shelly.
The movie opens up with Alice and Jack Chambers hosting a dinner party with their friends. The next day, when Alice says goodbye to Frank while he drives to work at the headquarters of the Victory Project, it becomes very clear that Alice and Jack live in a utopic 1950s-style town in the middle of the desert. As Alice goes about her day as a housewife, cooking and cleaning in a very 1950s way, we learn that the town is supported by the mysterious Victory Project. When Alice attends a dinner party hosted by Shelly and Frank, with the latter giving an incredibly convincing speech on the importance of the work that the men in this community are doing without revealing the details of their work, Alice’s friend Margaret says that The Victory Project is a lie. Shortly after, Alice begins to lose faith in the Victory Project, questioning her sanity and the reality she is living in.
With all of the drama from behind the scenes of Don’t Worry Darling, one of the biggest questions that I had was: is the actual movie any good? I went in with almost no knowledge about any of the drama except that Florence Pugh did not show up to most of the movie promotion events.
I personally really liked this movie. It is a suspenseful film that gradually hints that something is off about the town and the people in it before Alice realizes. The characters themselves have some sort of dimension to them. The movie has some fairly dark twists and themes, but I won’t mention anything so as not to spoil it. The movie’s soundtrack, in my opinion, is well executed. The diegetic music (the music that the characters hear) is what you would expect for a 1950s utopia-like town and the nondiegetic music (the music that the audience hears) definitely fills you with anticipation and does an excellent job tipping you off that something is off about the town before the characters realize it. Florence Pugh’s acting is great, as usual, and I think that Harry Styles definitely has skills and potential as an actor, although he is not as talented as his costar. In my opinion, both actors definitely sell their roles as a married couple. There are several scenes in the movie that don’t make sense at all and feel as if they don’t exactly fit, but the reveals at the end of the movie really tie those scenes back in. This is definitely one of the movies where it’s best to pay attention to all the details. Without revealing any spoilers, I’d recommend keeping an eye on the clothes that Florence Pugh wears as Alice throughout the film.
After I watched the movie, I read up on the behind-the-scenes drama. I am certain there will not be a sequel, seeing as it’s rumored that Florence Pugh and Olivia Wilde got into a screaming match on set, possibly because of the romance that Wilde and Harry Styles began during the filming of this movie. This romance took a lot of attention from the movie itself, which is unfortunate because, in my opinion, the film is suspenseful, entertaining, and definitely worth watching.