Film Review: Don't Worry Darling


Editor's note: Here's content creator Ellie's own review and opinion of the film "Don't Worry Darling" and the controversies surrounding it.



The release of Olivia Wilde’s second directorial feature has been long anticipated, admittedly more because of the PR buzz than the actual content of the film.


Rumours of a director/lead actor affair and fallouts between lead actress Florence Pugh and Wilde seem to overshadow anything the film has to offer.


This is even after a "solid seven-minute standing ovation" at the Venice Film Festival, of which Pugh boycotted the press conferences.


This discourse set Don’t Worry Darling up for a feverish release, only to amount to a 39% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes.


Alas, the film does deserve an in-depth review, as despite critic dissatisfaction, Don’t Worry Darling has iconic cinematic echoes, from The Truman Show to The Stepford Wives.



Review (Warning: Contains Spoilers)


Firstly, let's set the scene. The film was based in the 1950s with a stunning set design. The screen was filled by a brightly coloured suburbia, with women in 50’s cocktail dresses and cookie-cutter husbands in vintage cars.


Don’t Worry Darling features Florence Pugh as Alice and Harry Styles as her husband Jack. The two live in childless, suburban bliss in the desert town of ‘Victory’: a location “created” by Chris Pine's character Frank.


Pugh is ever-brilliant as Alice, playing her signature character of overtly-distressed-woman with ease.


Styles however, has been majorly criticised for his role. Truthfully, compared to Pugh his acting is completely two-dimensional.


Styles was rumoured to be a replacement for Shia LaBeouf, and perhaps it would have been nicer to see the latter in the role. In my opinion, Styles’ acting experience and ability falls short of what was needed for a movie such as this one.


The plot of the film follows Alice’s decline into ‘madness’, the suburban world around them fracturing as wives begin to act up and suddenly go missing.


Inevitably, the illusion of utopia begins to crash down.


It is eventually revealed that this '1950’s paradise' is in fact, a simulation, following a chain of peculiar events.


The 'big plot twist' of course, is that Jack and Alice are in fact a 21st century couple. Jack, craving more time with his busy, work-absorbed girlfriend, decides to plug her into a simulation where she can be his doting 50’s housewife. Hm. The plot twist is mediocre.


What should have been a Truman Show-esque reveal was instead fairly predictable, only made surprising by the wardrobe department somehow managing to make Harry Styles less attractive.


Every wife in Victory is in Alice’s situation, though some are aware of the simulation, and perfectly happy to live in this false utopia.


Is the film revolutionary? In my opinion, no. It’s been done before. But to be fair, it does have a lot of redeeming qualities:


The cinematography is incredible, as is the set and the wardrobe. Florence Pugh’s performance alone is worth watching this film, and honestly, seeing Harry Styles portrayed as a Discord using incel is undeniably entertaining.


Also, Feminist undertones lie throughout the film, and performances from Pugh and Wilde, along with Gemma Chan and Kate Berlant, are genuinely great, but perhaps this movie was not the revolution that Olivia Wilde expected it to be.



Have you seen Don’t Worry Darling yet? What did you think?

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