Movie Review: Don’t Worry Darling (2022)

A psychological thriller directed by Olivia Wilde, Don’t Worry Darling was released in 2022. Alice Chambers (Florence Pugh) is living in a suburban 1950s paradise with her husband Jack (Harry Styles), when she starts to suspect things are not what they seem. Alice’s neighbours include another married couple, Bunny (Wilde) and Dean (Nick Kroll), as well as Frank (Chris Pine), the leader and founder of the Victory Project, where all the men in town work, and Shelley (Gemma Chan), Frank’s wife.

+ Pugh and Pine in particular are really good, especially their handful of scenes directly opposite each other. I’m a fan of Pugh in general, and eagerly await each of her upcoming projects as they are announced. Chris Pine channels the sort of sexy, charismatic but off-putting cult leader that Chris Hemsworth also played in Bad Times at the El Royale, but with a sort of ‘James Bond villain’ twist. I have no strong feelings about the rest of the cast, Styles included, but I did laugh at Nick Kroll’s bit player role, considering I know him mostly as the foul-mouthed teen on Big Mouth
+ the movie has a great soundtrack, both of the music and score variety. The different 1950s bangers from The Platters, Ray Charles and many more are lots of fun, and the ambient and score and haunting vocalisations sounds reminded me a lot of Men
+ considering the more than slightly misogynistic tone of the film, it’s embarrassing to admit I do really like the aesthetic of ’50s houses, cars and clothing, but dammit it’s comfy. I feel like the ;50s are a safe era to use, as it is still very recognisable, but allows for more colour and wacky stylistic design choices than the modern day and can easily insert the notion that “something is off”
+ there are lots of hints as to what is going on, which viewers can piece together. Like most thrillers, the set up is more exciting than the reveal, but I didn’t hate the twist overall

– the pacing is all over the place, with the ‘big moment’ of the movie coming in absurdly late in the movie, with everything that comes afterwards feeling rushed and ambiguous. In my searching for cast and crew to write this review, I’ve learned there were apparently several previous scripts which were meddled with one one way or another, so this may be a result of that
– even after the love-it-or-hate-it reveal, I have several unanswered questions, some of which are incredibly important to the plot. This film also obviously takes a lot of inspiration from many other pieces of media, most of which I can’t name for fear of spoilers. What I can say is that this was not a unique concept by any means, nor was even the underlying “why” behind the “what”

> I’m still not entirely sure what all the drama and controversy was about this movie before it was released, and frankly I don’t really care to find out. I don’t think knowing about or being oblivious to the details will make or break this either way

Should you see this film: This was fine, and worth a watch. But almost everything in this movie reminded me of something from a different movie. Whether it be the twist, the minutiae of the setting, or even the characters some of the actors were playing, I just felt like i had seen it before, and seen it better.

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