A drama overshadowed by drama
While this film is by no means going to be joining the ranks of Oscar-winning thrillers like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo or Silence of the Lambs, Don’t Worry Darling holds its own as an uneasy thriller that keeps the viewer guessing.
Inspired by the likes of Get Out, Don’t Worry Darling follows the day-to-day life of Alice (Florence Pugh) and Jack (Harry Styles) in a 1950s Stepford-esque, suburban cul-de-sac. They live there with several other couples, including Bunny (Olivia Wilde) and Bill (Nick Kroll), and newcomers Violet (Sydney Chandler) and another Bill (Douglas Smith.)
The wives stay home, taking care of the house, while their husbands go to work on the mysterious Victory project, headed by a different Jack (Chris Pine), a charismatic leader whose main goal is to create a better world. Things begin to unravel as Alice starts seeing strange images and hallucinations, revealed in a surprising twist at the end.
Pugh and Pine deliver an amazing performance — every scene between the two is tense and filled with energy. Wilde holds her own as an actress, as well, leaving Styles quickly overshadowed. The best way to describe the casting choices is as follows: Florence Pugh and Chris Pine were amazing, and Harry Styles was there. Pugh is given the most amount of screen time, which allows her to shine, but unfortunately leaves a limited amount of scenes between her and other characters, including Pine.
The drama that unfolded before the movie even came out doesn’t seem to have affected the movie itself, but may overshadow the notable directing from Wilde. While the themes in the film are nothing especially new, the approach is a fresh and modern take despite the retro setting. Another 30 minutes would’ve probably strengthened the story and the characters, as what would undoubtedly have been interesting side characters appear and disappear in a hurry, leaving little room for their own development.
Admittedly, the real-world controversy may match the level of drama and intrigue the film holds, but Don’t Worry Darling, unfortunately, lacks any true staying power. The allure of the film fades fast and the movie isn’t deep enough to foster any reflection from viewers, but is also not intense or dramatic enough to leave a lasting impression.
That being said, this movie deserves a place at your next movie night. It’s a fun watch, and will be a talking point for the next month or so.
Rating: 3/5 stars