Immaculately coiffed women wearing flirty 50s frocks wave their handsome husbands goodbye as the men drive off to work in their color-coordinated cars. Sometimes they meet the other ladies to shop or relax by the pool in the sun. It's hard to believe.
Olivia Wildes' sophomore project as director, following her confident and cheerful debut Booksmart, veers into mystery terror. If you believe you can predict where the story will lead, well, you can, but that doesnt stop you from enjoying the ride.
Alice, the young wife of Harry Styles Jack, is beautiful and enthralling. The men work for the mysterious Victory HQ up in the highlands that surround this completely secluded community. Everything they need is provided for them. The only restriction is that they must never leave the house.
As Alice begins to get the impression that something isnt quite right, she quickly falls in love with dark images, frantic dancers, and a specific song. It's not until she witnesses a plane crash out by HQ and goes to investigate that things start to unravel.
With this ambitious feature that lasts about two hours, Wilde is clearly stretching her legs. Both ways, the film looks wonderful. The sequences are tense and evocative. On the other hand, Pugh overburdens himself with unnecessary emotion.
Despite his quality in Christopher Nolans Dunkirk as a supporting character, Harry Styles is left out. Its quite ironic that he only shines in a scene at a fancy club where he is brought up on stage to perform an increasingly intense dance. Sadly, the rest of the time he is just a flop.
Pugh is in danger of being typecast but she does it to the highest degree: gentle, charming, and loving to her husband's mission to the last.
The men all want to be Frank, or please Frank, or just be caught in the sunshine of his gaze. Alice isn't so sure.
As the pair fizz and flex and Alice eventually flounders, a face off between the two at a dinner party is one of the greatest scenes in the film, and this alone has as much to say about the patriarchy as any number of clingfilm images. Pine is fantastic.
Dont Worry Darling has a funny thing about modern masculinity and femininity, love, status, and the world as it is now. Unfortunately, these interesting points of discussion get a bit lost due to a rather bottom-heavy plot (there are a whole bunch of twists that come thick and fast in the final act) and because of the films obvious similarities to a few other things.
Dont Worry Darling does feel a bit familiar, but the worldbuilding is such that it still is an interesting place to spend time. We were still excited to see what Wilde might make next in his quest for the unknown.