The premiere of Don’t Worry Darling was long anticipated by many. Fans of Harry Styles especially awaited the film, excited to see their favorite singer in a different light. The movie gained lots of press before its release due to suspected on-set drama, mostly revolving around director Oliva Wilde. I went into the film knowing little to nothing about it. I knew the actors and actresses in it, the on-set drama, and the genre of the movie (psychological thriller), but really nothing about the plot. I ended up going to see it on opening weekend.
I’ll preface my review by saying that I enjoyed the movie. The overall plot was engaging and the acting was good with the stand-out star being Florence Pugh. Now, spoilers are ahead if you have not seen the movie. My biggest critique of the movie concerns the pacing, directing, and ending. When leaving the theater I had this overwhelming feeling that I enjoyed what I had just watched but I was also confused. The pacing was obviously centered around the reveal that Jack, played by Harry Styles, had trapped his wife in a 1950s dystopian reality. After this reveal, which comes late into the third act of the movie, director Olivia Wilde attempts to tie up all of the film’s loose ends unsuccessfully. In the end, Florence Pugh’s character eventually escapes after a drawn-out chase sequence, stealing time away from plot holes that could have been filled.
It’s never fully explained how the characters get in and out of this reality. Watchers are expected to make assumptions about many things presented in the movie. There are planes that seem like they are going to be a big plot point, but they are never addressed. I would have liked to see more of Jack and Violet’s outside life, and overall had more of the concept of the “Victory Project,” the name of the dystopian reality, explained. Also at the end of the movie Shelley, the wife of the Victory Projects creator, Frank, ends up killing her husband. Does she want to free the other wives? Does she want to take over his reality? It is never explained and feels like it is coming out of left field since we have seen her support her husband throughout the entire film. The film feels disjointed, which may have been what they were going for considering the genre, but it didn’t come across in a good way. I would have liked less time spent on seeing the wives in dance class or doing random tasks, and more explaining what is actually going on. I blame most of this on the director Olivia Wilde because I realize that she probably wanted to have a shocking reveal, but she still could have woven in details that allowed the story to come together more cohesively.
Overall, I recommend the movie to fans of psychological thrillers and fans of Harry Styles and Florence Pugh. Their performances are fun to watch and make the movie more entertaining. It’s definitely not a movie for everyone, and forces its audience to do a lot of work I consider should have been done by the director.
By: Olivia Morrison’23 Social Media Chair