Don’t Worry Darling (2022) | Review
But Don’t Cry Victory Darling
By Emma Chen
In all honesty, after seeing the low Rotten Tomatoes score and the drama surrounding
the actors, which made excellent advertising, I went to the cinema ready to destroy
Don't Worry Darling (2022). Unfortunately, despite some evident issues with the storyline
and acting, I liked it.
The movie introduced us to the lives of Alice (Florence Pugh) and Jack Chambers (Harry Styles), who live in a pastel-coloured community in 1950s California. Jack is an engineer working on a so-called ‘Victory Project’, while Alice is the perfect housewife who keeps the house clean, goes to her dance classes and prepares tasty dinners before her lovely husband comes home. From the very start, you can tell something is off with the project and the people who decide to participate in it, and the deeper Alice looks into it, the more her perfect life begins to feel like a fraud.
The movie’s plot is a good idea, but it's not a shocking concept. Many films have tried to blur the distinction between the real-world and alternate reality before, and a few have mastered it —
Matrix, Inception, The Truman Show — so Don't Worry Darling doesn't add anything new to the trope, providing only a remodelled version of it.
While the film features new technology and different narrative strategies, the path followed is much like the one of The Truman Show, especially with the open ending that leaves you with a clear understanding of the plot but also with many unanswered questions. The main difference lies in the pace of the film and the anxiety that grows over time — after all, it's supposed to be a psychological thriller— and we owe the positive change to Florence Pugh, who delivers a perfectly confused and terrified Alice. She carries scenes even when the other actors struggle to keep your attention. In contrast to Pugh, Style's character Jack is instead perfectly forgettable, which would not be a problem if his role in the story was irrelevant, but it becomes one when we need him to show character depth that Styles simply doesn't have in his set of actor's skills.
If the plot is not creative enough, the aesthetic and the attention to detail compensate for it:
the impeccable 50s clothes and hairstyles, the houses' conformism and the constant
symmetry create a sinister and disturbing atmosphere supported by an appropriate
soundtrack —honourable mention for the irony of The Chords’ ‘Life Could be a Dream.’