“Don’t Worry Darling” review

A film surrounded by off-screen drama has a fatal flaw: it isn’t dramatic.


Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The recently released film “Don’t Worry Darling,” starring Harry Styles and Florence Pugh, lacks the drama that swirls around it offstage.

Brendan Peters, Staff Writer

With rumors spreading about cast drama, “Don’t Worry Darling” hit theaters this weekend. While the rumors might generate buzz and ticket sales, the film itself fails to live up to the hype, which causes it to fade into the past once the media has had its fill of quick clicks.


Pop sensation Harry Styles plays a leading role as Jack Chambers, a suburban husband and engineer with a mysterious day job. Styles, however, was not the original actor tapped to play the character of Jack Chambers. Shia LaBeouf was supposed to play the role, but was dropped for reasons which are still unclear. Olivia Wilde claimed that it was because he had made the movie star Florence Pugh uncomfortable on set, but Pugh herself refuted that claim. These disagreements between Wilde and Pugh made headlines recently, as sources claimed that the two had a falling out on set. Pugh’s notable absence from the film’s promotional events certainly did not quell said rumors.

Wilde’s supposed affair with Styles, split with longtime partner Jason Sudeikis and an alleged spitting incident between Styles and Chris Pine at the film premiere add fuel to the fire that the director and the studio have tried to put out. But perhaps this is exactly what Warner Bros wants for “Don’t Worry Darling.” After all, the movie needed a little bit of self-promotion, considering the quality of the film.


Ironically, the film itself lacks drama. Pugh stars as Alice Chambers, wife to Styles’ Jack Chambers and a housewife in an idealized suburban community in the 1950s. After witnessing a suspicious event involving a neighbor, she begins to suspect that everything she has taken for granted is not as it seems. Shockingly, the husband and neighbors that she previously confided in seem to turn against her, keeping her from a reality that will turn her world upside down.

Florence Pugh is nothing short of fantastic in the role, as one might expect. Her great work over the past three years have elevated her to the status of full-fledged movie star and her talent and charisma are undeniable on screen. She elevates the role and gives a memorable performance.

Wilde clearly attempts to create in-movie drama and to evoke famous depictions of false realities, most notably films like “The Truman Show” and “Inception.” However, if you are looking for a complex deconstruction that will challenge your beliefs, “Don’t Worry Darling” falls short of those expectations. At times, the film’s reveals are quite shocking, but it lacks the unexpected twists and turns that make those aforementioned films so great. Instead, it often feels predictable and uninspired. The ending especially leaves much to be desired, as it builds up to an unsatisfying reveal with unanswered questions. The concept of an idealized world with an idealized life being torn down for the sake of being torn down lacks emotional depth and drama.


The film, for all of its off-screen drama, fails to live up to the expectations for Wilde and for the very clear drama it tries to translate to the screen. But perhaps it isn’t a total failure. After all, press leads to recognition, even if the movie is not worth all of the attention it is receiving.

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