By: Amy Szmik, Copy Editor
[Warner Bros. Pictures; 2022]
Don’t Worry Darling has had a whirlwind of press surrounding it before anyone even saw it. From the drama surrounding Florence Pugh and Olivia Wilde, to the supposed “spitgate”, all of the media frenzy drowned out, for many, what the actual plot of the film is. The story follows Alice Chambers (Florence Pugh) and Jack Chambers (Harry Styles), a supposedly happy couple in an idyllic suburb in California. The film is stylized as if it were in the 1950s, with the women cooking and cleaning while the men go to work for the mysterious “Victory Project.” The women are left completely in the dark as to what their husbands do when they go to work. The one woman who doesn’t trust Victory anymore, Margaret (Kiki Layne), is left ostracized by her community. The story follows Alice cracking mentally while slowly starting to question what is really going on. Alongside Pugh, Styles and Layne, the film stars Olivia Wilde, Nick Kroll, Gemma Chan and Chris Pine.
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Don’t Worry Darling’s set up seemed to be perfect for an interesting thriller; however, it just fell too flat to be anything great. One of the biggest issues was the lack of consistency, compounded by the amount of plot holes throughout the film. Many major plot points are left unanswered or not explained as to why it happened. The film jumped around without really clarifying what happened or why. A scene from the movie where Alice sees a plane crash is never explained, nor are the constant tremors that happen every so often. The pacing felt too slow during all the unnecessary points, but sped right past all the important events, giving little to no explanation. The plot twist at the end was rushed, and was not given enough time to be developed.
The themes that the film was trying to convey were too obvious, and not fully fleshed out. What Don’t Worry Darling was going for was a story about female oppression and sexism, but it was too tongue-in-cheek and underdeveloped. It felt lazy, and the themes were not at all unique. It was yet another story of women being housewives and men being the breadwinners. There wasn’t enough substance in the movie beyond that to give the story life.
What Don’t Worry Darling excels at is the cast’s performance and cinematography. Though there wasn’t enough chemistry between the cast, Pugh, Pines and Layne are all stand outs. They bring their characters to life and work with the material they were given. While Styles was the weakest of the cast, he was fun enough to watch on screen. The visuals and cinematography created an engaging setting for the movie, filled with vibrant colors of the desert, and pastels to adorn the houses. It is extremely visually pleasing to watch.
Though the film had some serious flaws, it wasn’t all a crash and burn. It was entertaining and reasonably fun to watch. It is definitely not perfect, and isn’t a film to watch if you are looking for something well put together. However, Don’t Worry Darling is saved by the performances and little enjoyable moments littered throughout the runtime. It isn’t for everyone, but Don’t Worry Darling is more than deserving of a try.
Watch the trailer here: