Don’t Worry Darling

Don’t Worry Darling is a film plagued by external drama. Pre-production issues have circulated the internet, causing many to question the cast’s chemistry and the outcome the film would produce. The movie was not well received by critics shortly after its release and currently holds less than satisfactory reviews on many popular sites. Despite the rough start, the film has not skipped a beat rising in popularity and becoming discussed among critics and viewers alike.

Don’t Worry Darling is written by Katie Silberman, Carey Van Dyke, and Shane Van Dyke. It is directed by Oliva Wilde, who also has a part in the film. The movie stars Florence Pugh, Harry Styles, and Chris Pine. The film follows Alice (Pugh) living with her husband, Jack (Styles), in a 1950’s styled community named Victory. Alice, Jack, and the other members of the community live a seemingly perfect lifestyle. However, their lives are disrupted when Alice becomes suspicious that there might be something more sinister behind the Victory Project and Frank (Pine), who runs it. The film juggles an exciting premise that drifts into familiar territory but provides enough vision to keep viewers hooked. The movie is beautifully shot, and the 1950s aesthetic creates a stunning backdrop of colors. It’s also packed with haunting music and imagery that helps set the tone throughout the film.

Florence Pugh is a standout in the movie. She delivers a fantastic performance that helps drive the film’s suspense and unsettling nature. Although the film deals with interesting concepts and themes through mesmerizing cinematography, it struggles to find its footing throughout the film. It supplies a predictive and, ultimately, an underdeveloped story that will likely leave viewers unsatisfied. Nevertheless, Don’t Worry Darling still has enough thrills and visual appeal accompanied by Pugh’s performance to make it worthwhile.


There are some very intriguing aspects of Don’t Worry Darling that help keep it above water despite having glaring issues.

First, let’s get some of the positives out of the way. The film is beautiful, plus the costume and set design are eye candy throughout. Pugh delivers a spectacular performance as Alice; you really feel for her character and feel trapped with her as she desperately attempts to unravel the truth. The dinner scene is excellent, and the tension between Alice and Frank as she
exposes Victory is one of the film’s best scenes.

The movie delivers eerie, complex visuals, from the ballet sequences to Alice’s eyes being pried open. It also provides some nice callbacks. For example, early in the film, when Jack tells Alice that Frank doesn’t like tuna. Later we find out it is because Jack lives off tuna in his apartment. Also, the song that she keeps humming is one that Jack hums to her while he tends to her. It spends a great deal of time developing the world in which they live and showing the inner workings of the town and the lengths they go to keep order within it.

However, some of the ideas and creations of the simulation itself are never fully explained. How does the simulation work? Frank seems to be reaching applicants through a podcast, which begs the question, how did he create and maintain the simulation outside the public eye? Most of Frank’s character and background are left unexplained, maybe by design. However, one must wonder about his motives and journey toward creating Victory. Having his character further elaborated might help explain Victory’s history and how the simulation came to fruition.

What were the real-life relationships of some of Victory’s couples? If Alice and Jack are a couple in the real world, does that apply to everyone in Victory? Or have some men kidnapped the women into the simulation? In addition, what are the relationships between Frank and the men of Victory? The film shows Dean, played by Nick Kroll, receiving a ring representing “a promotion” within the company. Later, we see Jack receive the same kind of promotion. We never learn the importance of this. Is it just a symbolic display of Frank’s higher trust towards those men, or do the men have a more significant role in the simulations’ upkeeping? On that same note, do the men go back to reality to work for Frank, or just regular 9-5 jobs so they can keep their “wives” in the simulation? We hear Jack state that he goes to work and hates every minute, but he does it because he loves Alice. He also says that he is a “technical engineer,” is this just a facade to dilute suspicion with Alice, or does he work for Victory in reality? If so, promotions could have a more significant meaning if they earn ranks within Victory. The movie fails to elaborate on some of these unfinished concepts.

After the final sequence, the film lets the viewer know that touching the headquarters’ glass is the bridge back to reality. So what happened to Alice after she first reached headquarters following the search for the plane crash? Jack was at work, so there must be a sequence of Alice waking up to an empty apartment without him present. This feels like a crucial scene that was ignored entirely.

In the climax, we see Alice emerge in the street outside of her home after killing Jack. Various wives begin to become aware that something is off. Streetlights and pieces of homes implode, implying the breakdown of the simulation. Alice takes off, racing towards headquarters to make her daring escape. Does this mean everyone left in the simulation will die if they do not reach headquarters before it is destroyed, or will they wake up from it?

Furthermore, Frank’s relationship with Shelly (his wife) has been a mystery. Was she in on it the whole time, and did Frank not know? She plunges a knife into his chest, killing him towards the end, which leads you to believe there is more than meets the eye in that relationship.

Don’t Worry Darling delivers a very intriguing story and tells it through incredible cinematography, but one must wonder what could have been. It feels like an extra 20 minutes are missing from this movie that was either cut or never addressed. It might have been more memorable if the story had been cleaner and fully fleshed out. Even though the initial reception of the movie has not been tremendous, both critically and commercially, Don’t Worry Darling‘s appeal may increase with time and further consideration.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: