Don’t Worry!! A Review of “Don’t Worry Darling”


If you are an avid social media user, you’ve probably heard about Olivia Wilde’s newest film, “Don’t Worry Darling.” Leading up to its release, there has been excessive reporting on drama between lead actors Florence Pugh and Harry Styles, and Olivia Wilde herself. Clips in the trailer popularized the idea that Styles can’t act to save his life and articles written about fights between Pugh and Wilde led to the whole of social media turning on Wilde, accusing her of being an unprofessional director. I’ve come here to tell you to forget about all this lead-up.

“Don’t Worry Darling” is about Alice (Pugh) and Jack (Styles), a couple living in a 1950s town owned by Victory. All the men in the town work for the Victory company, and the women’s only obligations are to socialize and cook. Alice begins to notice some oddities in her seemingly perfect world, which lead her to question the authority figures who head the Victory Project, whatever that may mean.

The film is not groundbreaking, but it definitely isn’t 38% on Rotten Tomatoes bad. Its genre is listed as horror/thriller, but I wouldn’t consider it scary at all – it’s like a mix between Apple TV’s “Severance” (themes of capitalist expectations) and Ari Aster’s “Midsommar” (Florence Pugh, cult-y, etc). I went into the movie expecting a super on-the-nose, industry plant feminist, “The Truman Show” but girlboss situation, but I came out feeling like the ending was thought-provoking and relevant. It’s another one of those paradoxes where certain people need to hear a message, but they won’t be the ones sitting down to listen.

The acting in Don’t Worry Darling is really solid. Florence Pugh, to no one’s surprise, is jaw-droppingly, chill-inducingly, Oscar-winningly fantastic (yes, I am a fan). Chris Pine is great. Olivia Wilde does the job. Harry Styles is, wait for it, really solid as well. The press leading up to the movie depicted Styles quite poorly, but his acting is nothing to write home about – he even has notably good moments, sorry!

The set and costume design are stunning. The cinematography by Matthew Libatique (who was also involved in “Requiem for a Dream” and “Black Swan”) is immersive, even suffocating, and every shot looks like it could be framed on a wall. While watching the film, the score by John Powell stands out as a unique element: it’s ominous, feminine, and at times suspenseful.

In terms of criticism, I would say that there are some visuals, characters, and concepts introduced that feel underdeveloped. The film is aware of its visual pleasingness, and it knows that viewers are overanalyzing every line and set piece for hints. Sometimes that self-awareness overpowers the cohesiveness of the plot. I would also say that there are some minor pacing issues – the story moves quite fast, where it leaves you wondering about how all of these events happened in this one period of time.

If you like psychological thriller movies, Florence Pugh, and staying up to date on pop culture references, “Don’t Worry Darling” will be a good watch for you. You are sure to leave the theater with a song stuck in your head, a new perception of Harry Styles, and a new fear in our modernizing world.