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Review Over Olivia Wilde’s “Don’t Worry Darling”

Olivia+Wilde%E2%80%99s+%E2%80%9CDon%E2%80%99t+Worry+Darling%E2%80%9D+was+released+to+theaters+on+Sept.+23+and+had+already+gained+a+large+following+thanks+to+the+well+known+actors+involved+in+the+film+and+drama+between+the+films+cast.+The+movie+follows+Alice+and+Jack+Chambers%2C+a+couple+living+a+perfect+1950s+lifestyle+fit+with+a+nice+suburban+town+and+provided+jobs+thanks+to+the+%E2%80%9CVictory+Project.%E2%80%9D+I+thought+the+film+was+just+okay+and+didn%E2%80%99t+really+live+up+to+the+expectations+I+had+set+for+a+film+involving+such+big+actor+names+and+such+an+aesthetically+pleasing+movie.

Photo by Isa Morgan

Olivia Wilde’s “Don’t Worry Darling” was released to theaters on Sept. 23 and had already gained a large following thanks to the well known actors involved in the film and drama between the films cast. The movie follows Alice and Jack Chambers, a couple living a perfect 1950s lifestyle fit with a nice suburban town and provided jobs thanks to the “Victory Project.” I thought the film was just okay and didn’t really live up to the expectations I had set for a film involving such big actor names and such an aesthetically pleasing movie.

Isa Morgan, Reporter

I sat anxiously in my theater seat as the sounds of 50s music paired with images of a small house party shine on the screen, not knowing what to expect next from a movie that got more publicity from the behind-the-scenes drama than their own promotions. Olivia Wilde’s “Don’t Worry Darling” was released to theaters on Sept. 23 and had already gained a large following thanks to the well-known actors involved in the film and the not-so-subtle soap opera happening when the cameras aren’t rolling.

Before the release of the movie, there was reported drama between the cast, including relationships, lack of a proper director, spitting in laps and Florence Pugh not really paying attention to any of it and skipping the New York premiere to continue filming for a “Dune” sequel. With big names like Chris Pine, Nick Kroll, Gemma Chan and Harry Styles included in the new psychological thriller and the hype of cast drama, I expected the movie to be up there with some of my favorites. I’m sad to say that the movie was just okay.

The film follows Alice Chambers, played by Pugh, living in her perfect 50s housewife life with her husband Jack Chambers, played by Styles. The couple and many others are a part of an organization called the “Victory Project” that basically provides them with a stylized suburban town and jobs at the “Headquarters” for everyone’s husbands. The plot picks up when Pugh’s character notices off-putting coincidences and patterns in her everyday life, beginning with a tune she just can’t stop humming. The story is creative and a new take on a concept that’s been done in different styles before, but I felt like it was missing something.

The movie itself felt like it was trying to be something more than it really was. Maybe it was because I went in expecting a Jordan Peele level of psychological thriller, but even giving the movie the benefit of the doubt, I still feel like it was a movie that you had to see at least two times to fully understand and catch everything, making this not an ideal movie for people who want just a quick watch. The film runs for two hours, which made the film feel a little long at times. It did a good job of trying to fill most of the screen time with meaningful plot development, but towards the end, after the reveal of the twist, it felt as though they were dragging the ending out so it could meet the standards of the new age of thrillers.

Speaking of the twist ending, without giving too much away, I wasn’t that impressed. I loved the way that they carried the superstition going through the whole film, making sure to keep the feelings of uneasiness in every scene, but overall I feel as though they could’ve done more for the turning point in the movie. Throughout the entire film, whenever anything tied back to the plot twist, they put a horror feel to the imagery, mood and music, but once it was revealed, they lost all of that scary ambiance. I guess that is the point of a psychological thriller, but instead of relieving me of the stress I was feeling while trying to figure out the ending, I felt a little letdown. I wanted that superstition to continue throughout the entire film, but instead I felt an obvious drop in the tone, going from an uneasy feeling to “go girls!” I love a good woman-led movie, but it almost felt out of place for this specific project, as it was an unexpected pairing of themes with the uneasy reveal putting an unserious feel to the ending.

Looking past all my complaints, I did end up loving a lot of the aspects of the movie. The look and aesthetics of the movie were one of my favorites I’ve seen in a while. I’m personally a sucker for that 1950s look and this movie perfectly nailed the upbeat, colorful vibe of the era. The contrast between eerie topics and such a cheerful look was such a perfect balance and made the movie so fun to follow along with. My favorite part of the whole movie was Florence Pugh’s acting. She played her character in a way that really brought all of the twists and turns of this whirlwind of a movie together into one perfect, put-together masterpiece. Most of the actors in this movie did a great job at bringing a more serious feel to a movie that needs that uniform tone, though I did appreciate the few comical aspects from the more humorous actors like Kroll. Although the majority of the actors did a wonderful job at portraying their characters, Harry Styles’ felt as though he was out of place when acting in more dire scenes. I expected more from him, and I felt like he didn’t give what everyone else was putting in to the film. His acting seemed flat and he didn’t express the same emotions as his main counterpart, Pugh.

Overall, I wasn’t super impressed with the film, but I also wasn’t extremely bored. There were many parts that I thought could have been a lot better, but there were also features that I thought were perfect additions to the film, leading me to think the movie was just decent. I thought the movie had a great balance between eerie and upbeat, with the beautiful set designs and acting from some of the more well-known actors. All these factors that could have really made the film that intricate psychological thriller I was looking for got brought right back down with some of the more negative aspects of the movie. I would still definitely recommend this movie to anyone who’s looking for a film that’ll leave you wanting to know more, but for everyone expecting an intricate thriller featuring a cast of amazing actors with undertones of horror, I don’t think this is the movie for you. Taking everything into consideration, I think this film could have matched the level of excellence more recent thrillers have had, but it missed the mark, leading me to give this movie a rating of six out of 10.