You should be worried, darling

Georgia Lodewyk- Staff Writer

Olivia Wilde’s Don’t Worry Darling was a crash-and-burn. But at least we enjoyed watching the explosion. 

That’s not to say the movie didn’t get some things right. The idea certainly lends itself to a terrifyingly haunting psychological thriller. Don’t Worry Darling centers around “The Victory Project,” a secluded community that Alice (Florence Pugh) and her husband Jack (Harry Styles) belong to. The town is modeled after the traditional “nuclear family” of the 1950s, but with cultish elements. People aren’t told the truth and aren’t allowed to leave, and for the most part, Alice and Jack fit in just fine. Until they don’t. Alice starts to question her outwardly perfect life and slowly uncovers the dark secrets of “The Victory Project,” but the truth is not easy to take in.

After this hook, Don’t Worry Darling starts to suffer. Despite all its grandiose ideas, elaborate twists, and allegorical content, it can’t decide what it wants to do. I was waiting for it to be a psychological thriller, and while the tension builds throughout the movie, there’s not enough payoff. Too many ideas were left unexplored. Great plot twists are mixed in with absolutely confusing ones, most left unexplained. The underlying feminist tone also felt a little weak and didn’t land the way producers probably wanted it to. I left thinking: That was fun. But what was the point? My personal verdict is: Try again, Don’t Worry Darling, and this time pick a lane, stick to it, and do it well. Give us something we can feel moved by, not just something we’re confused by. 

Outstanding performances redeemed the lack of proper footing. Florence Pugh shines as Alice, and Chris Pine and Gemma Chan’s supporting roles are also brilliant. While viewers are trolling Styles for his bad acting and terrible accents, he wasn’t the worst part of it for me. He’s trying, but he’s surrounded by incredible talent — there’s not much else he can do besides back up and let others lead, and he does a great job at that. 

Despite its shortcomings, the movie transports viewers into a different world. I found myself getting sucked into the beauty and mystery of the film, wondering what I would do if I was stuck in Alice’s position. The answer is, I have absolutely no idea. Don’t Worry Darling received a 38 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which seems a little harsh. I enjoyed watching the film and left with plenty to think about. But many critics expected it to be great, and it just didn’t get there. You leave with a feeling, you might just not be sure what that feeling is. It’s just another movie, nothing truly special or terrible, and that means Harry Styles truly said it best: “My favorite thing about the movie is, like, it feels like a movie.”

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