Don’t Worry Darling is a horny, harrowing, mystery that is sure to captivate the audience.
Constantly in the headlines since it premiered at the Venice International Film Festival, Don’t Worry Darling has been the talk of the town. Unfortunately, most of the headlines are not about the film itself, but the drama around it. From the alleged conflict between the director and star of the film, a supposed spat, in the literal sense, and even the casting change, the film has been making rounds with very little focus on the film, its quality, or content. So to help remind everyone about the movie, check out the official trailer.
Don’t Worry Darling Official Trailer
What piqued my interest in the film was to see an Indian guy in what appears to be the 1950’s America. Hollywood tends to do period pieces to avoid casting minorities, so to see that trend bucked was very intriguing. Slight spoiler, but to absolutely no surprise, it does not play into the film at all. Instead we are treated to a thrilling suspense mystery with a healthy dose of horniness to keep the audience engaged. Themes of love, individuality, and identity are explored in a visually mesmerizing film that will likely be a hit or miss with the audience. Don’t Worry Darling rides the line between awards push and popcorn pleaser.
Don’t Worry Darling is a Cinematic Marvel
The undeniable highlights of the film are Florence Pugh and the cinematography. Don’t Worry Darling plays with color, shapes, camera movement, subject choreography, and food in truly marvelous ways. Even in black and white sequences, the film’s visuals jump off the screen. There is also a kind of circle or ring theme that seems to be a running visual theme that is displayed in breathtaking ways. Personally, I was a fan of the human kaleidoscope imagery used in the synchronized dancing sequences and dream sequences. It also reflected and transitioned into the design of the human iris, and plays into the larger mystery of the movie.
Miss Flo is the Star
Then there’s Florence Pugh who is a dramatic powerhouse. However fans might feel about the story, Pugh’s performance is unquestionably spectacular. Her performance is heightened even more in contrast to Harry Styles. Styles by no means was bad, but the deeply emotional beats were a little more advanced than his current acting level. For most of the movie he is great, but when it came to the emotional climax, Styles is noticeable less versed than Pugh, who achieves so much in the scene while appearing to do far less. It’s in the nuance of her performance that the gap in their acting abilities is felt.
The rest of the supporting cast are in a similar boat, only they aren’t really given parts that have to match or compare to Pughs. Outside of Chris Pine, everyone else’s parts are very well performed, but the parts aren’t roles that required the actors to play them. Nor will those roles be defining for any of the performers. Pine does go toe to toe with Pugh in a heated standoff, as seen in the trailer, and it is a very powerful scene. Which, in comparison, once again highlights Styles’ lack of experience. Styles’ performance is only less in comparison to Pine and Pugh.
Also, there is an aspect of his character that is hard to believe he can relate to. You just know he never had to deal with those issues and has no way to comprehend them.
Why the Tomatometer WIll be Low
Don’t Worry Darling thoroughly dismantles the trope of the American dream. It exposes the inherent one-sided nature of it, and the submission and sacrifice required to make the dream a reality. While it does work for some, it should not be the norm, especially in places that outright boasts individuality. In many ways, it is a story of reclaiming one’s life, breaking the system. In others, it is embodiment of today’s culture, and the loud subset of people who cling to a dream they are actively preventing from being possible. The social commentary is a major factor in my enjoyment of the movie. It is also unapologetically sexual, without being crass.
Where audiences will be split the most is the story. Personally I enjoyed it, but it isn’t a heavy hitter. It never gets to mind blowing. It is perfectly enjoyable, and intriguing enough that it will give audiences plenty to talk about over the water cooler or on that group Slack with people they can talk about their annoying coworkers. But, as with anything without a non-white hetero lead, it will be weirdly hated on beyond any reasonable metric. So slight spoiler warning, because the film is very much attacking the incel, red hat, dream of an America that is long gone (because they destroyed it and continue to destroy it, but that’s another conversation).
Its brilliant attack on the red hat incels is one of the reasons I consider giving the movie a 4/5. It is a testament to the writing and speaks to the power of art and that philosophical stuff. It is not a subtle attack either. But because there is an Indian guy, and minority women, it will go around the intellect of flat earthers (I assume red hats, anti-vax, book banners, and flat earthers are the same). What will trigger them, prevent them from watching the movie, or at best get them to hate watch it, is having a leading woman and a woman director. That is too much wokeness and gets that group all riled up.
It will also keep Don’t Worry Darling from scoring above 60%. The old guard, the gatekeepers or fandom, will shred anything that makes them see others as people. That being said, the movie is by no means an instant classic. While conceptually I think it is great and Florence Pugh is a bonafide movie star, the films impact isn’t a knock out. It’s a powerful uppercut that will get your attention but not floor you. This could be due to the rumored drama. It makes sense because the film seems to have all the pieces, but just doesn’t quite come together. I think it is a good movie and worth it just on Pugh’s performance and the gorgeous cinematography.
Despite What the Ratings Say, Don’t Worry Darling
Don’t Worry Darling is a good movie. It masterfully dismantles the trope of the American dream and exposes the inherent flaws of it. It’s a great think piece of the modern cultural climate. Florence pugh delivers a powerful performance that will likely get recognized this awards season. It is also a visual masterpiece. The cinematography is inventive and innovative and brings a lot of scale to the film. But, despite what it has going for it, and how it will definitely trigger the tiki torch mafia, it never quite gets to being more than the sum of its parts.
For its visual brilliance, incredible lead star, and poignant social commentary, I give Don’t Worry Darling 3.5/5.
About Don’t Worry Darling
Release date: September 23, 2022 (USA)
Director: Olivia Wilde
Cinematography: Matthew Libatique
Editors: Jennifer Lame, Affonso Gonçalves, Andrew Leven
Costume design: Arianne Phillips
Screenplay: Katie Silberman
Cast: Florence Pugh, Harry Styles, Gemma Chan, Chris Pine, Nick Kroll, Asif Ali, Dita Von Teese, Sydney Chandler, Kate Berlant, Dougla Smith, Olivia Wilde
In the 1950s, Alice and Jack live in the idealized community of Victory, an experimental company town that houses the men who work on a top-secret project. While the husbands toil away, the wives get to enjoy the beauty, luxury and debauchery of their seemingly perfect paradise. However, when cracks in her idyllic life begin to appear, exposing flashes of something sinister lurking below the surface, Alice can’t help but question exactly what she’s doing in Victory.
Do you already have your tickets to Don’t Worry Darling? Did the drama of the film affect your desire to see it? Are you a believer of the American dream? Let us know what you think and share your thoughts with us on Twitter.