I thought ‘Don’t Worry Darling’ was a romance, I was wrong

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ZAHIRA LOPEZ

Antelope Staff

Before I begin this review of Olivia Wilde’s “Don’t Worry Darling’,’ I must admit I went into this movie completely unaware of what it was. Between my lack of sleep and my lack of research, I was not prepare for my experience.

Going in, all I had seen were two clips of the couple (played by Harry Styles and Florence Pugh) screaming at each other and the movie poster, so I genuinely thought this was a romantic movie with some possible drama. Note: maybe watch the trailer first if you want to be prepared to know what kind of movie you are watching.

Set in the 1950s, the psychological thriller stars lovers Jack and Alice Chambers in what seems to be an ideal life. Jack goes to work as all husbands in Victory Town do, and Alice stays home to cook and clean like the other wives. Eventually, weird happenings make Alice  question whether this town is really what it says it is.

Overall, I give the film four Lopers out of five.

The design, cinematography and soundtrack were on point.

A lot of the film was shot in Palm Springs, California, which provided a perfect setting for the 1950s aesthetic they were aiming to achieve. Everything from the costumes and hair seemed carefully planned. As someone who appreciates and digests the cinematography of every sort of video, I think the variety of shots and the music scoring certain scenes played well into the reveal that Victory Town is all a simulation. 

Florence Pugh stole the show; Harry Styles did well.

This was my first time seeing any of these actors in this movie, and let me tell you, Florence Pugh did not disappoint. Every scene focusing on her realization that something was off was executed well and made me think that I would react the same way.

As a Harry Styles stan, I may be a little biased, but I do think he acted well. I have not seen his other films, but considering this is still his early acting days, he played the role well in the fact he played an American with a bad British accent. I’m curious to see how this movie would have turned out with the original intent of Shia LaBeouf playing Jack Chambers.

I have just one sticking point: the climax probably could have arrived sooner.

While I do think my delirium and no prior knowledge heightened my experience, I recognize the fact that the beginning of the movie took a while to establish the sense of mystery. Maybe it was my initial confusion, but the ending was overstimulating. We learned a bunch of things about how the Chambers became part of the victory project, but the expositional plot was rushed towards the last fourth of the movie. 

After I finished the movie, I saw a lot of ‘easter egg reviews’ on TikTok that pointed out some things I simply did not catch or wished the film would have focused on more. Then again, that adds to the thriller aspect and I do think the design and cinematography help make up for it.