Unless you’ve remained oblivious to the tabloid hysteria, you’ll cognize that Don’t Worry Darling has caused rather the societal media disturbance successful caller weeks. Not for thing overmuch to bash with the movie itself, mind, but for the big of off-screen controversies that supposedly played retired during and aft its production.
Those dramatics – existent oregon different – warrant small much than a passing notation here, but they bash bring into stark alleviation the comparably little absorbing tensions that predominate Don’t Worry Darling’s on-screen story.
Director Olivia Wilde’s sophomore diagnostic (after 2019’s fantabulous Booksmart) is acold from a badly-made movie, but its method merits aren’t capable to forgive its labored crippled – nor the silliness that arises earlier the credits roll.
My benignant of town
Set successful the utopian Californian municipality of Victory successful the 1950s, Don’t Worry Darling follows Alice (Florence Pugh) and Jack Chambers (Harry Styles), a young mates surviving a picture-perfect beingness successful a tiny assemblage of arsenic cleanable families.
Their nights are filled with dancing, meal parties and lustful endeavors, portion the days spot Jack and the remainder of Victory’s husbands driving disconnected to enactment astatine the mysterious Victory Project – an out-of-town improvement programme led by Frank (Chris Pine), the laminitis of Victory.
Alice and the town’s different housewives are blessed capable to cook, cleanable and socialize successful the lack of their partners, with the knowing that they workout discretion towards the Victory Project and the enactment it involves. But erstwhile unusual occurrences statesman to stone her regular routine, Alice launches an probe into the existent quality of her idyllic life.
So far, truthful intriguing – and the archetypal happening to enactment is that accumulation decorator Katie Byron sells the movie’s mounting and past some. Victory looks and feels similar a lived-in luxury catalog; swimming pools sparkle, thenar trees glisten and the town’s residents are truthful uniformly charismatic that Marilyn Monroe wouldn’t gully a 2nd look if she walked down the street.
Wilde plays to the quality of this acceptable plan whenever she can, often utilizing the grandeur of the film’s godforsaken surroundings – which aren’t excessively acold removed from those successful Jordan Peele’s Nope – arsenic an effectual opposition to the aggressively artificial municipality astatine its center.
The acting successful Don’t Worry Darling is little consistently arresting. The elephant successful the country concerns popular star-turned-actor Styles, who begins the movie convincingly capable earlier descending into drama-class-dramatics erstwhile emotions travel to the boil successful aboriginal scenes. He isn’t arsenic atrocious arsenic *that* promotional clip led galore to believe, but don’t expect the instrumentalist to beryllium adding an Oscar to his Grammy postulation immoderate clip soon (sorry, Stylers).
The main crushed Styles’ deficiency of nonrecreational grooming becomes truthful painfully evident is Florence Pugh. Unfortunately, the Hollywood newcomer finds himself (literally) face-to-face with 1 of the champion actors of this generation, and Pugh is ne'er little than compelling arsenic Alice. It’s casual to presume that Shia LaBeouf – who was primitively formed arsenic Jack, pre-controversy – would person fared acold amended than Styles other the Little Women star, but adjacent a performer of his sizeable endowment whitethorn inactive person been made to look the smaller of the 2 actors (despite Jack’s relation arsenic the expected breadwinner).
The movie’s supporting formed – which includes Gemma Chan, Nick Kroll and Wilde herself – are credible enough, but lone Chris Pine comes adjacent to matching the nuances of Pugh’s performance. His character, Frank, is the astir absorbing of the bunch, and his little interactions with Alice marque for immoderate of Don’t Worry Darling’s champion scenes.
The agelong roadworthy to nowhere
The movie’s biggest problems, then, are not method – nor are they performative, irrespective of Styles’ constricted acting experience. Instead, Don’t Worry Darling suffers from a acold much damaging drawback: a atrocious story.
We won’t spell into details, successful fearfulness of spoiling the film’s biggest (and only) astonishment – but cognize that the aforementioned synopsis stops abbreviated of a frantic last 30 minutes. In different words, the bulk of Don’t Worry Darling is dedicated to watching Alice announcement things, question them, disregard them and repetition the rhythm until she yet takes meaningful action. Yes, the movie’s rubric is simply a motion to the gaslighting of its pistillate characters, and it makes consciousness that Alice is often made to consciousness paranoid – but we’re kept successful the acheronian astir Victory’s existent quality for truthful agelong that, by the clip the large uncover comes, our involvement is each fizzled out.
And adjacent if Don’t Worry Darling had revealed its secrets earlier on, the film’s twist is truthful unoriginal, truthful run-of-the-mill, that we’re near frustrated by Wilde’s unwillingness to effort thing bolder. Her movie borrows countless stylistic and thematic ideas from elsewhere portion adding precise small that different filmmakers haven’t already done before. Shades of Inception, The Matrix, Edward Scissorhands, The Truman Show and The Stepford Wives are each contiguous present – which wouldn’t beryllium a occupation if Don’t Worry Darling made an effort to accidental thing absorbing for itself.
In all, then, Olivia Wilde’s Don’t Worry Darling is simply a technically awesome movie whose worth – similar the fictional municipality it depicts – remains regrettably superficial. Florence Pugh shines, though not adjacent her immeasurable endowment tin prevention this acquainted phantasy from ending with a whimper.
Don’t Worry Darling is present playing exclusively successful theaters worldwide.