[Review] Don’t Worry Darling creates conflicting opinions among fans


Warner Brothers Pictures

Florence Pugh and Harry Styles play Alice and Jack Chambers in Don’t Worry Darling. A perfect 50s couple, their lifestyle is thrown into questioning as cracks in their idyllic life begin to appear. Photo courtesy of Warner Brothers Pictures.

Tatiana Ortiz, Arts & Leisure and Opinion Editor

On Sept. 23, 2022, the highly anticipated movie “Don’t Worry Darling” released in theaters around the world. With news about the drama surrounding the cast members and director Olivia Wilde, everyone was excited to see the movie that caused multiple arguments and alleged disagreements to surface. However, with all the hype surrounding this movie, reviews have been mixed with many fans being underwhelmed and others feeling satisfied.

First introduced to the public in 2020, the movie featured A-list actors like Florence Pugh, Gemma Chan and Chris Pine. After alleged disagreements between Shia Lebouf, who was originally cast as Jack Chambers, and director Olivia Wilde and Florence Pugh, Harry Styles was introduced as Jack Chambers. Coming off of Dunkirk being his only acting experience, many film critics were skeptical of Styles’ ability to play a complex lead role in the film.

Set in the 1950s, Alice Chambers, played by Florence Pugh, and Jack Chambers live in a suburban community called Victory, which houses the men who work on a top-secret project. While the men go off to work, the housewives enjoy a perfect paradise. However, as Alice begins to look closer at her life, she starts to question her purpose in the community and her reasons for being there. As secrets unravel and sinister intentions become revealed, Alice must turn against everything she’s known.

Florence Pugh’s performance was incredible, to say the least. The alleged passive-aggressive relationship between her and Olivia Wilde, in regards to the rumored pay gap and Pugh not liking Wilde’s directing style, does not show in her performance. Usually, when an actor dislikes the director, they do not give their best performance, however, Pugh portrays the conflicting and unraveling emotions of Alice wonderfully.

Compared with her exceptional performance in Midsommar, Pugh’s performance in “Don’t Worry Darling” heightens the perception of Pugh being a talented thriller/horror actor. Pugh’s performance was highly realistic, almost making the viewers believe they were going crazy as well.

Highly controversial, Styles’ performance was not as bad as others make it. For an inexperienced actor, Styles had notable scenes that show potential in his future acting career. Playing Jack Chambers, a man who is obsessed with his wife and trying to get a promotion at work, Styles plays the part of a doting husband well. However, there are certain scenes that remind the viewer of his rookie acting experience. Serious film critics and avid psychological thriller watchers were not as fond as I was at Styles’ performance.

“Styles is too inexperienced as an actor to deliver the complexity that his role requires. He’s glassily superficial, giving a performance entirely untroubled by a hint of an interior life,” Wendy Ide, a writer for The Guardian said.

In regards to Styles having most of his scenes with Pugh, it is prevalent that Pugh carries a lot of the scenes to the higher level it demands. However, with Pugh having vastly more acting experience than Styles, it makes sense.

The costumes and hair by Arianne Phillips and Jaime Leigh adds to the vintage aesthetic of the movie and correlates with the obsession of the perfect image of women in the 50s. The ideology of traditional men and women roles is prevalent in this movie and contributes to a lot of manipulation and gaslighting by Frank, played by Chris Pine. Frank is the creator of Victory and is revered as a sort of god to the citizens. Chris Pine delivered a realistic performance as Frank, showing all the toxic traits of a man in power.

With Wilde having a complex storyline, it should be expected that all or most questions during the movie should be answered at the end. However, that is not the case for this movie. Although there is a gasp-worthy plot twist, there are still many holes in the story and unfinished plot segments. Wilde has a hard time tying up the loose ends of the storyline, which creates a confusing ending. If you like to guess and make predictions about the plot, then this movie would be perfect for you.

Although not perfect, “Don’t Worry Darling” had an interesting storyline, similar to the Truman Show, and contained many note-worthy performances by Florence Pugh. Fans of Harry Styles and drama-loving pop culture fans going to see this movie have “Don’t Worry Darling” gaining a predicted $20 million in the box office.