Don’t Worry Darling
There’s been a lot of buzz around Don’t Worry Darling, not just because of its lead actor, music superstar Harry Styles, but also due to his romantic ties with the movie’s director, Olivia Wilde. Adding spice to the mix are whispers about a fallout between Wilde and co-star Florence Pugh during filming.
Set against the backdrop of late 1950s Victory, California, husbands mysteriously depart daily for their jobs at Victory Headquarters, leaving their wives in a state of luxurious ease. Alice Chambers (Pugh) revels in this lifestyle with her friends, but the town is overshadowed by Margaret’s (KiKi Layne) haunting venture into the desert, leading to her son’s death. Things take a darker turn at a party by Victory’s elusive founder, Frank (Chris Pine), where Alice discovers some unsettling secrets, including Frank’s creepy voyeuristic side.
Hats off to the beautiful set design; Wilde truly captured the suburban glamour of a past era. Add to that the lingering question of whether Styles can, in fact, act, and the first 30 minutes of the film glide by pleasantly. But there comes a point when the initial thrill fades and the movie starts to unravel. Don’t Worry Darling feels like a retread of an all-too-familiar narrative: the unease lurking behind the calm of suburban America, echoing Lynch’s surrealism and the psychological horror of Peele’s Get Out.
Don’t Worry Darling doesn’t bring anything new to the table nor add depth to the genre. Its main twist has been played out so often it’s become predictable. If there’s one standout, besides the undeniable visual allure, it’s the magnetic pull of Florence Pugh’s performance as she tries to escape the oppressive community.
Dont’ Worry Darling is released nationwide on 23rd September 2022.
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