This is only Olivia Wilde’s second movie following her critically acclaimed directorial debut, Booksmart in 2019. She is perhaps more known for her career as an actress than a director but nevertheless she seems to be making her mark with her movies. Don’t Worry Darling have much publicity abate for the wrong reasons relating to troubles at the sets and conflicts among the stars and their director. What’s more important is whether the final product is any good? Well … yes and no.
The cinematography and sets look fabulous and Olivia Wilde has a creative style that makes each scene look more interesting than it should. It’s leading lady, Florence Pugh is also great although the rest of the cast including such illustrious names like Harry Styles, Gemma Chan and Olivia Wilde herself, were unremarkable and felt more like wallpaper in the sets. Harry Styles in particular seem lifeless in most of his scenes. At least Chris Pines had some moments with his dramatic speeches.
The plot is intriguing if not a bit familiar. We are introduced to a 1950’s suburban community where life seems a bit too picture perfect. It will immediately make viewers draw parallels to the science fiction horror The Stepford Wives, The Truman Show and the TV series Black Mirror. Nevertheless, it is an interesting premise that keeps you watching just to see if our suspicion on the plot is true or not. In such set-ups, the conclusion is all important. It should provide viewers with a twist ending that we all don’t see coming, and a neat explanation to all the mysteries in the preceding scenes. Alas, this is where Don’t Worry Darling falters. It left many loose ends in the plot unexplained and the final reveal on what the whole thing was about seemed rushed. The leaves us to draw our own conclusions to the details which is frustrating because the logic doesn’t seem right. The actions and behaviour of some of the characters at this point of the story were irrational and ran contrary to what they were in the earlier parts.
Don’t Worry Darling have the potential of being so much better but ended up in a mess.