Review: ‘Don’t Worry Darling’ is next must-watch utopian thriller

Photo courtesy of IMDb.

By Erianne Lewis | Arts and Life Editor

If you have any form of social media, then you’ve heard of the newest film that just hit theaters Thursday night, “Don’t Worry Darling.” When I went to see the movie on opening night, the theater was full of rows of college-aged girls. As the opening scenes began, someone stood up and shouted, “Who’s ready to see Harry?” — to which a roar of reaffirming screams followed.

The intense off-screen drama that surrounded the star-studded cast didn’t seem to impact the opening weekend numbers, with the film making $19.2 million in ticket sales. To me, this utopian thriller feels like an extended episode of “Black Mirror.”

Maybe it’s because my brain has been trained this way after watching and reading too many dystopian novels in my preteen years, but I knew immediately something was not what it seemed from the first 10 minutes. In no world does 1950s cocktail dresses, cookie cutter houses and “stress-free” residents pan out. My theory proved to be true by the end of the movie.

The plot, set in Victory, USA, where husbands work on government projects all day and wives tend to dinner, children and the house, was a tad bit all over the place at times. The plot seemed to try and come to a kind-of conclusion at the end. I feel like they tried to box everything up nicely and stick a bow on it, but the box had holes in it that were slightly patched up with scotch tape. The ending felt rushed and could have been better planned out.

Aside from the plot, the acting from lead actress Florence Pugh was absolutely stellar. Pugh captivated my attention on the screen as she played Alice, a housewife, who seems to slowly descend into madness as she uncovers that the “perfect” society she lives in is not what it seems.

Other notable cast members include Chris Pine, Gemma Chan, Olivia Wilde and none other than singer Harry Styles. Many critics and viewers thought Styles’ performance was nothing special, and honestly, I’d have to agree. It was difficult for me to take his role seriously at parts because I was too busy stifling a laugh. For a good portion of the movie, I thought he was pretending to do a bad American accent, until I realized his character was supposed to be British.

If he wasn’t Harry Styles, but rather a regular actor, then I wouldn’t have given the character another thought. His performance wasn’t awful, but there was nothing impressive about it. This is not me hating on Harry Styles, because I actually love his music and him as a person, but a stronger actor should have been in this role.

Another thing that confused me was when Olivia Wilde appeared on the screen. I hardly did any research before seeing the movie, aside from the TikTok videos that came up on my “For You” page, but I didn’t know that Olivia Wilde had a supporting role in the film. I knew she directed the film, but I was not expecting her to show up within the first few seconds of the film. However, she played her role well.

Despite all the drama and the negative critic reviews, I would still argue that “Don’t Worry Darling” is worth the watch.