One of the films that have received a lot of buzz as of late — and not in the most positive of lights  — is the Olivia Wilde film, Don’t Worry Darling. As much as we would love to get into all the drama surrounding the release and production of the said film, we here at This Is Hype Ph would like to be a bit more objective and review the film, Don’t Worry Darling, instead. 

Don't Worry Darling | Official Movie Site

Don’t Worry Darling Review: Overview

As mentioned, the film is actually directed by Olivia Wilde who also plays an acting role in the film. This marks Wilde’s second film as director following her 2019 indie coming-of-age movie, Booksmart which starred Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein. In contrast to her 2019 film where the director dealt with young rising stars, Don’t Worry Darling boasts a stellar cast comprising of big names in Hollywood such as Florence Pugh, Harry Styles, Gemma Chan, Chris Pine, and many many more. 

Don’t Worry Darling follows a couple — Alice and Jack Chambers (Pugh and Styles respectively)  — who live in an idyllic neighborhood of the company town of Victory, California. Victory is actually a company as well that is led and founded by Jack (Chris Pines). Each day in Victory is practically the same. The husbands head on to Victory headquarters while the wives stay home to clean, relax, and prepare dinner for their husbands. These wives are also not allowed to ask their husbands exactly what it is that they do for Victory. Alice however realizes that their ideal life is too good to be true as she begins questioning and investigating the truth behind her husband, his work, and this small and quaint town. Each step that she takes in finding out the truth leads to greater perils as the stakes continue to rise with each inquiry. The biggest question above all is if Alice would be able to come to terms with the truth if and when she is able to uncover it.

Don’t Worry Darling Review: Spoiler Warnings 

For the most part, we will keep our Don’t Worry Darling review free from spoilers but take note that there may be some portions of the discussion that may tend to be a bit spoiler-y. We will focus our discussion on the visual appeal, casting choices, and overall direction, flow, and pacing of the story.

Don’t Worry, We’ll Eventually Get There

I must point out right off the bat that Don’t Worry Darling takes things extremely slow. The pacing isn’t all that desirable, to be honest, and it may be one of the biggest pitfalls of the film. It takes a while for things actually to make sense. It is however worth it when everything finally comes together. For the first few moments, however, things may tend to be a bit on the confusing side. The story heavily relies on creating suspense and thrill by giving small pieces of the bigger premise. This usually works when it comes to films in such a genre but there are moments that make this film confusing as well when it comes to its overall direction. The film injects a variety of sub-genres that it just becomes quite messy in terms of where the movie really wants to go and this again goes back to the pacing. The big reveal towards the end of the movie provides the clarity that is much-needed to compensate for the weirdness of it all. There was still however the tendency for the depreciation of the thrill and suspense as it again was a long and slow burn to finally get there.

Don't Worry Darling' Crew Members Deny Olivia Wilde and Florence Pugh's Reported “Screaming Match” | Vanity Fair

The way this is done however enables us as viewers to hang onto the edge of our seats with immense anticipation and eagerness to discover how the story will actually unfold. The visual aspect mainly through the color grading, sound mixing, visual effects, and cinematography aid in keeping the film engaging to witness. There’s an overall surrealistic tone that the choices in the aesthetics take on that makes the film visually captivating. Even down to the sounds that we hear, Don’t Worry Darling utilizes a very loud and over-exaggerated pairing such as seen and heard in the scene with the eggshells cracking at the hands of Alice. All of these elements combine to create a very strange but worthwhile experience which again allows the surreal experience that Don’t Worry Darling provides. The film also manages to provide amazingly consistent color grading and visually thematic elements that help contribute to and complement the direction of the story. There is a balance between darker shades that allow the heavier and scarier moments to take centerstage while as a whole the film heavily relies on the vibrancy and big bright bold colors that pop. The latter brings about an effect that draws us back into a more modern take that nestles in an older era as well. This may be room for inconsistency as there seems to be a lack of a defined setting but in doing so the film gets away with a lot of these inconsistencies as well.

Don’t Worry, There’s More to It Than You Think

There’s more to Don’t Worry Darling than meets the eye. As mentioned it takes a while for the story to truly gain its momentum and in doing so the truth, depth, and meaning of the story arrives a little too late. It still however packs a punch in my opinion. It initially feels like The Stepford Wives in terms of its premise, format, and themes. The film on the surface level deals with gender roles. We see a lot of this tackled in the first few minutes of the film and this consistently becomes the tone all throughout the film. Don’t Worry Darling paints a picture of wives and how their lives are in a very monotonous setting in this weird little town. They clean, cook, shop, relax and have sex with their husbands when they come home. This film paints the typical housewife in a manner that bodes a serious mood and tone. It’s clear in its intention at this point as the first half or so of the film paints what men and women are supposedly meant to do. The women don’t even have the right to ask questions and when they do act out of character or on their own accord, they are labeled as insane or are intensely scrutinized for their actions. This points to a deep social message that Don’t Worry Darling aims to deliver and again we are just waiting to how it will truly unfold as we join Alice in her discovery of the truth behind the Victory project.

Don't Worry Darling Trailer: Life Could Be A Dream For Florence Pugh

Everything shifts when the big reveal occurs. This may be a bit spoiler-y but just like Alice, we as viewers discover that there’s more to this town in Victory. This greatly affects the bigger themes and story at play. The film suddenly shifts from being a film on gender roles and discrimination to a movie about autonomy and purpose. The shift took me off guard, to be honest, and in a very pleasing manner. Alice as seen throughout the film is trapped in this world that seems ideal. It may seem dream-like at times. The problem is it’s someone else’s dreams. That is why Alice is different as it is mentioned several times in the film. She is a woman who doesn’t want this kind of life. She feels suffocated. There was a scene that metaphorically paint Alice being crushed in between a wall and her glass window. This film paints exactly this. It’s actually very relevant and relatable this way. Alice has been thrown into a world to which most people would actually dream of and aspire for. Most of us tend to reach aspire to this kind of life. That’s not the case for Alice.

don't worry darling review

Don’t Worry Darling even creatively touches on these themes of gender equality and more importantly the power of choices, control, and purpose from the strategically chosen title. Don’t Worry Darling seems to be a means to pacify Alice or women in general. A backhanded statement that seems to be out of comfort but rather is a means to conceal dark secrets and truths. Don’t worry about it because it will be okay. Don’t worry because this is what we always dreamed of or wanted. Don’t worry because this is the dream life. The film shatters this statement completely. Furthermore, we are thrown into a vast pool of inner searching on matters regarding equality and autonomy. The film is heavily focused as well on relationships as we get to see even more towards the end. This isn’t a romance film however but one that paints the harsh truths that we face when in a relationship. There’s a power struggle and misguidedness that may surface. Love sometimes becomes a reason and excuse to do things that are out of desperation and have no regard for respect and for humanity. We have to deal with all of these in this film and it goes to show that Don’t Worry Darling isn’t just concerned with the grandeur, art, and spectacle of it all.

Don’t Worry About the Cast, They’ll Do Just Fine

As mentioned there were some issues and controversies that surfaced in the production and filming of Don’t Worry Darling. These weren’t evident however with the final product especially when it comes to the acting abilities and performances of the ensemble cast. There were some clearly standouts and surprises but I must take the time to commend the casting department for the choices made as each actor and actress delivered amazing performances in each role that they were given. 

don't worry darling review

The clear standout was, of course, Florence Pugh. She carried the entire film, to be honest, and did so with so much emotion, vulnerability, subtlety, and poise. To be honest, I have grown to be a fan of Pugh since Midsommer and Black Widow. All biases aside, however, she proved why she is a must-watch actress. There’s just a different way in how she steps into each of her roles and while there may be some similarities in the approach despite each film being different, she manages to take command and control even when she is required to let go of such control. She has the ability to draw viewers in by demanding and commanding our complete attention. The big surprise and complete revelation for me was Harry Styles. Yes, we know him as a musician and singer but boy can he act! His role wasn’t as in-your-face and as demanding as Pugh but he managed to pull off stepping into a character that viewers would be 100% on the fence with. His performance was just subtle enough but at the same time carried weight in having a believability factor to it. Chris Pine is also worth the mention as he played a pretty decent antagonist in this film as a man filled to the bring with pride and a humongous ego.

Don’t Worry Darling Review: Final Verdict

As seen in our review, Don’t Worry Darling is a pretty daring film in its message. Pair it with the fantastic visuals and sound editing, and what we should have gotten was a sure-fire blockbuster hit. The film however suffers from a plot that is sluggish in its pacing which causes the twists and turns to lose their critical punches. As a whole, it’s a film that is pretty to watch and has a great, deep, timely, and relevant message as long as you’re ready to drag your feet along the slow ride and climax that the film offers.

don't worry darling review

Hype Meter: 8/10

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