Don’t Worry Darling Review

What would you sacrifice to have the perfect life? In one of the songs played during Don’t Worry Darling the lyrics state: “Life could be a dream (Sh-boom) If only all my precious plans would come true (Sh-boom) If you would let me spend my whole life loving you Life could be a dream, sweetheart” While the lyrics may seem innocent, there is a lot going on behind those words and how they relate to this movie.

Putting all gossip aside, Don’t Worry Darling is a trip into living in the perfect world. The men, dressed in dapper suits, all climb in their cars at the same time everyday and drive to the top-secret job at the Victory Project. The women all stay at home, clean the house, and either go shopping or to ballet class together. They are home in time to prepare their husbands dinner and wait eagerly by the door with a drink ready for their returning husband.

FLORENCE PUGH as Alice and HARRY STYLES as Jack in New Line Cinema’s “DON’T WORRY DARLING,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

This “perfect world” is all the brainchild of Frank, played deliciously evil by Chris Pine. This idealic world was created for the betterment of mankind. Frank is both part visionary creator and motivational speaker. When he enters a room there is a hush over the crowd and you can consider yourself lucky if he talks to you. He is almost diety-like in the town of Victory.

As mentioned previously, everything is a routine in Victory. We see repetative images of breakfast being made, men driving off to work and the women cleaning the house. This repetativness is reminiscent of Requiem for a Dream along with a scene later on involving Florence Pugh’s character Alice. Pugh is fantastic in this movie. She makes you feel her confusion and pain in some of the intense scenes throughout the movie, especially the final act.

GEMMA CHAN as Shelley and FLORENCE PUGH as Alice in New Line Cinema’s “DON’T WORRY DARLING,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

The rest of the cast has to bring their A-game to keep up with Pugh’s performance. Olivia Wilde as Bunny is the perfect match and confidant for Alice. Bunny feels like she is more experienced in the ways the town of Victory works but there is also the sense that she is hiding something from Alice. Harry Styles feels a bit miscast in the film. His character of Jack is not given much dialogue and he has an interesting arc in the movie.

The movie is marketed as a thriller with a “Don’t Spoil It Darling” campaign but it does feel lost at times. The message that it is trying to convey is clearly there but might get lost by some of the related actions of the plot. Without giving away the big reveal, there are questions and actions raised in the final act that feel like they were forgotten. There is a lot of suspense built up but the payoff feels incomplete. As you find out the motivations of some characters you want to find out more about them. I am not sure sure if they just wanted to wrap up the movie but again, the conclusion just felt flat.

“Life could be a dream” can be interpreted in many ways for this film and you begin to wonder who is this perfect world made for: The men or the women? The men are taken cared of by their wives and the women have no real worries outside of their home. The phrase “Behind every successful man is a strong woman” could easily sum up some of the relationships in this film but you want to see more from these relationships.

Visually, the movie is stunning to look at. Two-time Oscar-nominated director of photography Matthew Libatique makes each frame look like it can be a photo taken from a Life magazine from the 1950s. Some of the images in this movie take your breath away and this is one reason to see the film in IMAX. The sound in this movie is interesting. Along with the fantastic soundtrack, Wilde’s choice of score for the movie is unique. The acapella voices humming and chanting in the background really bring up the tension for this movie. This sound feels creepy and at times makes you feel uncomfortable. I wonder if that was used intentionally to put you in Alice’s shoes during some key moments.

Final Thoughts: Don’t Worry Darling is visually stunning to look at. From the music to the set design, Olivia Wilde gives us an incredible world that inhabits her tension filled thriller. Florence Pugh deserves all of the praise that she is getting for her performance. Chris Pine is fantastic and creepy in his role as Frank. While the movie does build up a lot of tension and suspense the ending of the movie feels like it is missing something.

Kid-Friendly: The theme in this movie is a little heavy for young children. Throughout the movie the cast drinks, smokes, and curses. There are a few sex scenes without nudity in the movie and a death scene that may be too much for younger viewers. A recommended age for this would be 17 and up.

Violence: There are some violent scenes in the movie especially around the third act. Thre are a few fight scenes that lead to death and moment where a character is stabbed.

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