REVIEW: Ignore the celebrity gossip, just enjoy ‘Don’t Worry Darling’
Ignore all of the celebrity drama circling “Don’t Worry Darling;” the movie holds up on its own as a tense, mysterious thriller.
A whole tabloid’s worth of gossip is swirling around director Olivia Wilde and her actors from “Don’t Worry Darling,” but none of it is worth worrying about. Let the gossip rest and just enjoy a well-shot, well-acted, mysterious enough movie. “Don’t Worry Darling” takes a classic premise and gives it enough energy and style to make it worth a watch.
Young couple Jack and Alice are very much in love and very much loving life as part of the Victory Project, a planned community out in the desert in which husbands work at the company plant and wives stay home in idyllic, 1950s-style suburban bliss. But as is always the case with these Stepford Wives-like scenarios, something is very wrong.
The premise may have been done before, but “Don’t Worry Darling” is still a good thriller in its own right. Actor Florence Pugh takes the lead as Alice, and she does a phenomenal job with the creeping dread and her desire to push back and discover what’s really going on.
And, thankfully, the big reveal of the mystery behind the Victory Project is worthy of all the build-up. I won’t spoil anything, but the bulk of “Don’t Worry Darling” is all about slowly revealing the mystery and putting Alice through the psychological wringer. This part of the film works great.
A lot of the artistic and filming choices really add a special energy to the movie. The director, Wilde, really makes the most out of the stylistic suburban setting, where the neighborhood looks normal, but cinematography choices make it feel weird. And the acting is superb, from Pugh and Styles as Alice and Jack, to Chris Pine as the sinister leader of the project.
And like I said, it all builds to a satisfying climax as truths are revealed, characters are twisted and choices must be made. Personally, I would have liked a bit more back story and explanation for how everything fit together, but such details are not a deal breaker. You’re still going to get a good film out of “Don’t Worry Darling.”
As long as you can ignore the celebrity gossip surrounding the film, that is.
“Don’t Worry Darling” is a well-shot, well-acted and very tense psychological thriller that takes an old premise and gives it enough energy so that it can stand on its own. It is only playing in theaters and is not available for streaming.
For more discussion of the film, tune into the Sentinel Cinema podcast at www.ursentinel.com/podcasts.
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