Despite what the title of the film suggests, the audience had every reason to worry. don’t worry darling, The film faced a never-ending onslaught of controversies surrounding a fired lead actor, on-set conflict between the director and the star, and a piece of spit reportedly sent under the direction of Chris Pine. Of course, with a story like this, a movie about the making of this film would be much better than what we got. However, putting aside the never-ending headlines surrounding this psychological thriller, the final product is a decently enjoyable ride that offers enough genre thrills to be worth watching while not doing much.
Director Olivia Wilde pulls us back to the 1950s with vibrancy and deliberate color choices that feel like a product of its time. It is an upper-class society where women are stay-at-home wives who send their successful husbands to work cooking, cleaning, and kissing while participating in dance rehearsals. They learn about beauty in symmetry and they move forward as one. With this concept, Wilde and writer Katie Silberman create a fascinating world that feels a little different.
There are many themes around feminism in this film, though don’t worry darling Absolutely doesn’t hit you on the head with it. Still, it is very clear what Wilde and Silberman wanted to say about how women are expected to live within the protection of men who confer them rather than question authority. The film has real-world parallels that silence women as men gaslight them while using a character portrayed by Gemma Chan as a symbol of women who allow men to get away with this behavior. Those are all interesting concepts to explore in a horror movie. The way Jordan Peele uses terror to portray racial issues goWilde makes a similar effort with gender issues.
Does this work too? off course not. Wilde’s subjects and her depictions feel like they’ve already been controlled by The Stepford Wives, sometimes it seems don’t worry darling There is nothing new to add to the conversation surrounding gender roles. That being said, it is challenging to write social issues in a genre film without coming across as preaching. The film tries to avoid it, but the message is clear – especially in the film’s final act, which lifts the curtain on what’s going on behind the scenes.
It is a mystery thriller with some scintillating moments. It can be jarring to cut between the scenes and strange, haunting ballet imagery of Harry Styles going down on Florence Pugh. The imagery can feel scattered at times and there is little context for all of it, even if the movie gives you an explanation of it. Also, whenever something scary happens, the movie will usually cut to wake Alice (Pugh) with a start. As a result, it sometimes feels like he is in danger of an imminent real world because of all the dangers that come to his mind.
Pugh circles around everyone in this movie. Styles is approachable for most of the film, but his performance during his more intense scenes garnered some laughter from my audience. Despite his issues and the occasional laughing moment, don’t worry darling He does what he does. Unfortunately, it’s less strong than Wilde’s directorial debut. book smart, Still, there’s great sound design and an action-packed finale sequence that mostly sounds satisfying, even if the resolution is better than you’d expect. It’s a movie worth watching, but don’t worry if you miss seeing it in theatres.
As ComingSoon’s review policy states, a score of 6 equals “decent”. It fails to reach its full potential and is a run-of-the-mill experience.