Don’t Worry Darling directed by Olivia Wilde is finally out and we can honestly say it was a really good film. Despite the non-stop news cycle of behind-the-scenes drama, it did not keep viewers from heading to the theatre. We’re really glad about that because it would be a shame if people missed out on this timely film starring Florence Pugh and Harry Styles.
In Don’t Worry Darling, Pugh and Styles play the married couple Alice and Jack Chambers. The year is 1950 and they are living in the idyllic town of Victory where Jack works as a technical engineer for the Victory Project run by Frank (Chris Pine). Life is amazing and everything is just beyond perfect for the two lovebirds. Jack is doing well at his job and Alice is happily living her life as the dutiful housewife.
“There’s beauty in control. There’s grace in symmetry. We move as one.”
In the town of Victory, all of their needs are met, and Frank takes care of everyone. Every day the men file off to work at the same time of the day while their wives wave them off. While the men are off at work doing who knows what for The Victory Project, the women stay at the home. They cook, clean, take what I assume to be mandatory ballet classes, and if time allows having some girl time to gossip. The cycle pretty much repeats every single day.
The residents seem happy enough and as long as they follow Frank’s rule to never ask any questions, everything will be A-Okay. That seems like an easy thing to do at first until Alice begins to notice some strange things happening around her. One of those strange things is her former friend Margaret’s (Kiki Layne) behavior. According to everyone in town including Bunny (Olivia Wilde), Margaret has lost her mind. But the thing is, she hasn’t lost her mind at all. She’s started asking questions and that’s considered to be breaking the rules.
As Alice starts to notice cracks in their idyllic world, she also begins to realize Margaret was onto something. After a traumatic event, Alice’s eyes are opened further, and she begins to question everything she thought to be true.
“The enemy of progress is chaos.”
One of the things Alice continues to question is just what The Victory Project is. Jack doesn’t tell her anything about it and all she does know is that it involves the “development of progressive materials.” Whatever that means. As Alice continues to unravel the mystery of The Victory Project, she is constantly met with a barrage of gaslighting. She’s getting it from Jack, Frank (of course), and even Bunny. Everybody is treating her like she’s gone crazy. There’s even a moment where the doctor attempts to prescribe medication for her because she must be having some psychological problems if she’s asking questions right?
Right here is where I’m going to end saying anything further about the film because you do need to see it. What I will say is that the theme of men controlling women is quite clear. Don’t Worry Darling is a psychological thriller for sure because every aspect of what Frank is doing involves some form of manipulation of the mind. Did I mention that every day the women have to listen to his “Frank Radio” show where he just spouts off nonsense like a true cult leader?
It’s not for the benefit of the women living in Victory because they aren’t even allowed to ask questions. As I watched Don’t Worry Darling the wheels were just turning in my brain because like Alice, I was trying to figure out what The Victory Project was. I did in a way figure it out before the big reveal, but it was still a shock to witness, nonetheless. It gives new meaning to the phrase “Are we living in a simulation?”
While I did love Don’t Worry Darling there were a few things left unanswered. One of those things was just how long Alice and Jack had been living in the town of Victory or how long he had been working for The Victory Project. Now, I may have missed a moment, but I don’t recall hearing that. The second thing that I would have liked to see was more of a buildup of life before Alice started to see things were going weird. It felt like it happened a little fast.
Maybe that was intentional for various reasons. I also would have liked to know what was causing the earthquakes. Everyone seemed to think it was all the men at work but I’m sure it had to be something else. I’m thinking a second watch may answer that particular question for me.
Now, onto the performances in this film, because let me tell you, Miss Pugh did that. We already know that this woman is talented, but she just nailed her role as Alice. The character goes through a ton of emotions and she made me feel them all. Not to mention her chemistry with every one of her costars she shared the screen with was a chef’s kiss. That dinner party moment between her and Pine was super tense but man, was it entertaining to watch.
You knew we were going to talk about Mr. Styles too so you shouldn’t even be surprised. We saw a lot of mixed reviews about his performance and that had us a tad worried. Not that we didn’t think he was capable of taking on this role but ya know, critics can be brutal. After seeing the film, we can say that we thought he did a good job playing Jack. We got the emotions we should have from him, and he had great chemistry with Pugh and the rest of his costars as well.
Don’t Worry Darling is a film that is going to stick with you before the end credits even roll. When we tell you this movie is going to make you think, believe us. With all that’s going on in the world right now, especially the treatment of women, this was released at the right time because it’s a reminder to question things and not let anyone try and silence you when you do. Most importantly, it’s a reminder that nobody controls your life but you.