Don’t Worry Darling – Movie Reviews by Ry!

Don’t Worry Darling – Love and Control: A Life You … Deserve?

In a world where … where to begin?  We hear these words and think about the uncertainty all around us.  When you embark from ‘In a world where’, you get a sense of loose threads with some meaning.  From riveting adventures to ominous dread, you hope that where it begins (story of any medium), that it will have a satisfying outcome.  In this review, I look at the latest psychological/thriller from Olivia Wilde.  Living in a world of pseudo perfection, one woman comes to question her happy life. Through intuitive setups and common genre tropes, Don’t Worry Darling begs the question … is this world worth living in? 

Alice Chambers (Florence Pugh) is living a perfect life with her husband, Jack Chambers (Harry Styles), in a 1950s style community.  Everything seems perfect until she begins to have strange visions.  As her mind unravels, will Alice fall to dismay or continue to live her happy life?  The basic outline is rooted in the concept of a psychological thriller.  In the beginning, you have a general setup of characters and setting that slowly evolves from a ‘subdue’ concept to an ‘unravel the mystery’ journey.  At the center of this story is Alice Chambers, a housewife who (like the other wives) support their husbands in a mission to create the perfect community.  The audience come into their lives through the drop-in method, showcasing individuals doing their ‘day-to-day’ with no interaction with the outside world.  Through physical mannerism and conversations, there is an understanding that everyone agreed to move to this area (in the desert) to get away from society and its worldly problem.  To fight ‘chaos’ is to live for ‘progress’, which is the motto of the community’s leader, Frank (Chris Pine).  Alice stays focused (like all the others), until she witnesses an accident in the desert.  This causes an unraveling of her mind, the catalyst for the unfolding mystery behind her ‘perfect’ life.  She begins to experience certain things (mentally and emotionally), which drives a wedge between living the status quo or fighting to find the truth.  This leads to some unique situational moments, odd visual aesthetics and ominous allusion to grandeur.  As Alice begins to connect certain truths, it leads to a fragile balance of foreshadowing, applicable tension and plot driven motifs.  The great charisma from Pugh helps elevate the thriller aspect (of the script), even as the unfolding mystery becomes a convoluted mess of a script ‘trying to be’ smart with the obviousness of its tropes.

As the truth about their world starts to come to the forefront, it leads to a thematic perception of freedom and control.  The alluring aspect of themes adds some girth to the lethargic nature of conversation, but the humanizing of characters doesn’t take away from the generalities of scenes.  As things spiral within its revelations, we head into sequences of melodrama, heavy expositional dialogue and the cliché ‘race against time’ motif.  With Alice understanding her role (in this world), we head into a third act that becomes fragmented between momentary bliss and over explanation.  This leads to a predictable climax and an epilogue of questionable decisions.  Don’t Worry Darling is a thriller that has genuine moments of tension but falls victim to its own revelations.  If you are a fan of thrillers, actors involved or Olivia Wilde, I say give it a chance.  This can be a good time, at the right price.   

Full Score – 3 out of 5 (Theater Discount)

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