Should You Worry About ‘Don’t Worry Darling?’

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Leo Field, Correspondent

 

 

After lots of anticipation and much drama, the new thriller/horror film Don’t Worry Darling was released last Friday.

 

Don’t Worry Darling is director Olivia Wilde’s second feature film revolving around an idyllic 1950s experimental community called Victory, where a group of couples live in supposed harmony. The couples, each consisting of one husband and one wife, live “perfect lives” where the husband goes off to work every day and the wife stays at home and cooks and cleans the house. But as our protagonist, Alice, played by Florence Pugh, starts to notice little inconsistencies in her life, the entire world she thought she knew comes crumbling down.

 

There is much to love about Don’t Worry Darling, starting with the beautiful and aesthetically pleasing cinematography. The camera work is very intriguing, well-done, and helps to build the mystery around what is really going on in this town. The editing, aside from a few jarring cuts, is very smooth and skillful.

 

With all of that said, the movie does have some flaws. The pacing in the first half of the movie can be pretty slow, and the second half is really where the story picks up and becomes extremely engaging. The revelations that come to light in the movie’s second half range from shocking to not believable at some points. In certain scenes, I really wanted to feel exhilarated and even cheer, but I just found myself saying, “how could that even happen?” Don’t Worry Darling clearly derives from movies like the 1998 Jim Carrey-starring film, The Truman Show, in the sense that both are movies about a person learning the truth about the so-called perfect world they’re living in. It’s just that The Truman Show does it better.

 

Where Don’t Worry Darling also falls short of its expectations is in its acting performances. Now, that’s not to say there weren’t any good performances—there certainly were. In particular, Florence Pugh puts on an incredible performance and truly proves herself as one of the best young actresses in the industry. Chris Pine also puts on a performance that is charming, menacing, and villainous all at once. But when it comes to Harry Styles, around whom much of the film’s marketing was centered, his performance leaves much to be desired. Now, to be fair, Styles is a musician and has only acted as a lead character in one other movie, Christopher Nolan’s 2017 film Dunkirk. Unfortunately, Styles’ performance in Don’t Worry Darling doesn’t have Nolan’s stellar directing to fall back on. Styles does his best to portray his role, but it is clear that his acting is not on par with his costar. Another sub-par performance would be that of Olivia Wilde, who, besides directing the film, also played the role of a fellow Victory resident named Bunny. Her acting seemed overly energetic and disingenuous at the same time, making her character seem extremely unrelatable and very unlikable. It’s clear that attempting to direct and star as a supporting lead in one movie had Wilde stretching herself thin.

All in all, Don’t Worry Darling is a charming if not a flawed film. It has its strengths with its stunning cinematography and camera work, but ultimately falls apart when it comes to plot and performances. Nevertheless, this movie is entertaining, even if it is incoherent at times. If you’re a Harry Styles superfan and want to see more of his acting, then this is the movie for you! If you’re looking for an entertaining movie to watch for the night, then this might be a good pick! But if you’re looking for a complex well-thought-out and well-acted thriller, you’re better off watching The Truman Show.