Review of 'Don't Worry Darling'

dont_worry_darling.jpg Alice (Florence Pugh) and Jack Chambers (Harry Styles) are a young, happy couple living in a 1950s-style community in the middle of the desert as part of something called the “Victory Experiment” lead by the creepy “Jack” (Chris Pine). As Jack goes to work each day Alice cleans the house then prepares the evening meal. Alice starts to have disturbing nightmares then one day when she spots a plane that appears to crash in the next valley she breaks the one rule of the community - Never visit Victory Headquarters - as she climbs up to the mysterious building. After touching the glass windows she sees visions and awakens back in her home. She begins to question her “ideal” life with ever disturbing visions and events unfolding around her.

This is one of those “what the heck is going on” films where you try to figure it out before the characters on the screen do. In this case when the secret is revealed it did not come completely as a shock to me. What is disturbing about this film is the portrayal of the so-called nirvana of woman doing housework and the husband working (along with copious amounts of alcohol which no doubt would be required) which I found impossible to accept which is a pity as it is the main conceit of the film. Instead I found the whole thing bizarre though perhaps this is what the film-makers want - Odd morality, odd situation and equally odd, mysterious, characters, making us feel off-balanced and seeking an explanation for it all.

In the first hour we learn of how things work in this bizarre community and a bit about the characters before things start to get particularly weird though some of the events like when Jack watches Alice and Jack making love never quite seem to make a lot of sense other than being particularly creepy (and not in the way the whole film is creepy). When Alice finally reveals the secret it comes pretty much from left field with an unlikely conclusion given what we have witnessed That the strong willed Alice would even be happy in her situation as house wife is another non-sequitur that is never really explained. It all seems to be much of same-old, same-old slight melodrama until all of a sudden – BAM! – Everything starts happening and the truth is revealed.

A quirky, slow paced, film that keeps you guessing but never completely satisfies. The film is quite stylish, in a 1950s way, and the acting is perfectly fine with Pine being particularly disturbing despite his charming blue eyes.

Rating: “Really good but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2022-09-25

Directed by: Olivia Wilde

Studio: New Line Cinema

Year: 2022

Length: 122 minutes

Genre: Melodrama