Leaving the movie theaters with my popcorn tub empty and my jaw dropped, I could not help but feel confused and dissatisfied with the new thriller, Don’t Worry Darling. The movie, starring Florence Pugh, Harry Styles, Olivia Wilde, and other major stars, utterly fell short, and completely failed to live up to my expectations.
First of all, the plot was both horribly disorganized and painfully obvious. What did the random plane symbol mean? The missing eggs? Why didn’t Alice wake up the first time she touched the portal? It just seems like the writers of this movie forgot some details or gave up on trying to make a cohesive and understandable plotline. Additionally, the morals of this movie are so obvious that I can not even support the basic reason for creating Don’t Worry Darling. At the end of the movie, the only lasting message that stood out to me was, “husbands shouldn’t own and control their wives.” Um… obviously? I feel like the writers had a grand plan to create a deep and meaningful critique of a patriarchal society, yet they failed when it came to execution.
Okay, I can support a poorly written movie if I am moved by the acting, but the poorly casted characters just did not compensate for the horrible plot. I will always love Harry Styles; his music, style, and persona will always make me swoon. However, I do not think that the creators made a strong casting choice in choosing the musician in such a high-profile, blockbuster movie. Styles, whose acting resume includes nothing more than a Marvel end-credits scene, an iCarly cameo, and a couple music videos, should not have been chosen to star alongside the award-winning actress, Florence Pugh. I can not help but to blame Don’t Worry Darling’s director, Olivia Wilde, for such a poor casting choice. Wilde chose Styles after a dispute with Shia Lebouf, a troublesome actor known for his method acting and drama, over his resignation (or firing?) from Don’t Worry Darling. I believe that Wilde, now dating Harry Styles, chose the lead actor based on her own personal feelings, rather than her professional opinions. I believe that this movie could have succeeded more had Wilde gone with a more experienced actor to play the lead, Jack.
In my opinion, the only thing that saves Don’t Worry Darling is Pugh’s amazing and thrilling performance. Her ability to relay a sense of panic and distress astonished me, and she left me on the edge of my seat for the entire movie. When Alice’s husband, friends, and superiors gaslit her, I could feel that distinct and specific feeling through the screen. Truly, the only reason why I would watch Don’t Worry Darling again is because of Pugh’s breathtaking performance.