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Don’t Worry Darling (Drama, Thriller) (2022)

Director: Olivia Wilde

Writer: Katie Silberman, Carey Van Dyke, Shane Van Dyke

Stars: Florence Pugh, Harry Styles, Chris Pine, Gemma Chan

Somewhere in the California Desert exists a town established for families of employees working in a secret facility. Some wives are starting to doubt their situations and wonder what’s happening behind their backs.

As the second feature film, directed by prolific actress Olivia Wilde, ‘’Don’t Worry Darling’’ is about what seems to be a Utopian society with hidden secrets. With a reliable cast including Wilde herself and others like Pine and Pugh, it presents reminiscently to something as ‘’Get Out’’, artistic with a nudge of horror. Once the idea for this film had been formed, several studios entered a bidding war for its rights, eventually being produced by New Line Cinema and Vertigo Entertainment while distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures.

The young Alice Chambers (Florence Pugh) lives with her husband in Victory, California, an idyllic settlement created by Frank (Chris Pine) to allow young men and their families to make residence near their secretive workplace. As one of the other wives seemingly becomes manic, claiming conspiracy, Alice also begins sprouting doubt in their situation, which nobody else seems to be questioning.

Within an ideal town, Pugh’s Alice opinion rapidly devolves, forming a vastly engaging narrative comparable to Jordan Peele’s ‘’Get Out’’ and even the Netflix-produced TV series ‘’Black Mirror’’. Wilde, in her second directed feature, provides a film that is both forceful and incredibly Wilde; pardon the pun; you’d honestly expect ‘’Don’t Worry Darling’’ to be directed by her, as it just oozes her style, in my opinion.

Within the 1950’s artificial town, we’re seeing pointed acting, both by Pugh and her co-lead in musician turned-actor Harry Styles. Unlike other such thrillers, Wilde’s piece does lack patience, which isn’t a bad thing per se, yet it’s evident nonetheless. Certain shots feel high-cinema, such as perfectly synchronous ballet dancers or a favourite scene of mine, where Pugh slowly realises the space around her is getting smaller. Cinematography and style are true highlights in a less compelling and satisfying narrative.

This flair within visuals and the acting provided a definite appeal, yet… As Icarus’ wax wings melted underneath the rays of the sun, ‘’Don’t Worry Darling’’ burns hot and bright, leaving a lack of satisfaction in the end result. It’s a deeply disturbing plot, as certain scenes uncover the true nature of this town called Victory; it feels more and more like a ‘’Black Mirror’’ episode, not quite the initial seasons, but instead, the better couple of episodes when Netflix took over. It’s an approach it embraces fully, though, creating redemption and an honestly more than enjoyable venture.

While more coherent and slow development might‘ve been favourable, I applaud Wilde’s film, without having seen her previous work in ‘’Booksmart‘’, something I might be going back to after this. Harsh critiques have been spoken, yet this is a deserved credit even if the truly dystopian aspects are uncovered too quickly.


Maybe worry, even a little bit.