Everything is idyllic, the perfect 1950s lifestyle, and absolutely what people fully expect when they think of that time frame in Don’t Worry Darling. But it doesn’t take very long for you to notice something is off. The movie has clues tossed throughout the film, but the actual twist is one that will most likely blindside most viewers.
The movie is beautifully set, taking on the perfect Post War Modern aesthetic. From the clothing, the artwork, and architecture, the community of Victory is absolute perfection. The men go off to work at a specific time, the women stay home to tend to the home and make the perfect meal for them to come home with. Everything is perfect, maybe too perfect. But unless you’re looking for what’s off, the residents don’t notice what is wrong until they start to question.
But this time period thriller has other things that make give viewers a sinking feeling in their stomach for another reason. Directed by Olivia Wilde, we’re expecting another one of her films that make a statement about feminism, or women’s rights. And this movie, may make the loudest statement yet by not making one at all. Instead, it focuses on the negatives of the time period with the rampant gaslighting of the women in the film, including how any questioning is quickly drugged out of them to make them compliant. This often glossed-over part of the time period is painful to watch – and at times may make you more uncomfortable than the other parts of the movie meant to put you on edge.
The movie does leave some open questions too, and items seem to have been left on the cutting room floor. One element of the movie is random earthquakes that the residents deal with in the film – are never explained. Rather they are just forgotten and never explained in any way. And even after the final twist and reveal, no satisfactory ending is given.
No matter how beautifully a movie is shot, or how great of a job the actors do – the lack of a good resolution and open questions may have you leaving the theater feeling a bit cheated. It doesn’t have the punch you hoped for, it doesn’t make the social statement you were expecting from Wilde and there’s just something unsatisfactory with how things are left. But even with that, there’s no doubt that the movie will make you think and takes you on a definite journey.
The final twist of Don’t Worry Darling, isn’t going to be what fans think – no matter what you have guessed by the time you get there. Which, of course, is a sign of a great thriller, a movie that will keep you guessing until the very end. But the actual ending may also compound the other feelings the movie brings up in viewers and make them mad. Although the movie is well done, it may leave viewers upset for more than one reason and will probably end up with mixed reviews.
Don’t Worry Darling is opening in theaters everywhere this weekend, and is just twisted enough that it may change how you see those idyllic 1950s movies and shows after watching it.
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About Don’t Worry Darling:
A 1950s housewife (Pugh) living with her husband (Styles) in a utopian experimental community begins to worry that his glamorous company may be hiding disturbing secrets.
Cast: Florence Pugh, Harry Styles, Olivia Wilde, Gemma Chan, KiKi Layne, and Chris Pine
(New Line Cinema)