Release date: September 23, 2022
Run time: 2h, 3m
Director: Olivia Wilde
Starring: Harry Styles, Florence Pugh, Olivia Wilde, Chris Pine
With an all female directing and producing staff, “Don’t Worry Darling” released to the public on Sept. 23 with a 1950s aesthetic and a “The Truman Show” feeling. Marketed as a thriller/ horror film, it focuses on a dystopian society and what could go wrong when living in control.
The film opens with housewife Alice, played by Florence Pugh, and her working husband Jack, played by Harry Styles living in a utopian experimental society called the Victory Project. Throughout the film, Alice begins to notice various things around her community which are not quite ‘normal’ in her everyday life.
These abnormalities lead to a domino effect of events which lead to Alice discovering Victory’s darkest secrets. This concept created a large attraction for the film upon its release.
The two main leads, Alice and Jack, were played masterfully by Pughand Styles, who fantastically captured the dynamic of the movie’s aesthetic. The setup of the movie was well-structured and lined up the plot for the audience well. With this in mind, the lead up felt stronger than the downward spiral of the ending.
The movie delved into a lot of psychological themes, as there was a clear distinction between the normal and abnormal structures of the society the movie was set in. The intricacies and details of how the Victory society worked were fascinating and well put together.
These psychological aids to the utopian theme with high hopes for the movie’s conclusion, but ultimately, it was a let down. Despite being marketed as a thriller/ horror movie, it did not quite meet those expectations. It kept the audience thinking and it had fascinating aspects to it, but it was not wrapped up as thoroughly as it could have been. In the end, it left more questions than it answered.
The cinematography saved the movie with a 1950s modern aesthetic carrying a thriller atmosphere. The casting was also well thought out and perfectly played. Florence Pugh truly played her character Alice well and bounced off of Harry Styles flawlessly.
The reviews, despite these factors, have been either extraordinary or completely depleting; there is no in between. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a score of 39%, but the audience gave it a 75% score. Many noted predictable themes and concepts, making it a good movie but not a great one, which is agreeable.
“Don’t Worry Darling” carries similarities to the themes of “The Truman Show” with Jim Carey, which made the ending somewhat predictable. It felt like the whole town was in on the secret of Victory but the main character.
I came to the consensus of it being three and a half stars compared to the very skewed reviews of everyone else. It is very much dependent on the audience, but the movie had a lot of character and great representation of important themes like gender roles and the idea of an utopian society.
This is a movie which should be determined individually with no expectations since it is very ambiguous. It does give the audience room for reflection and it redeems itself with cinematography and characters which make it an enjoyable film.
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