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Don't Worry Darling

Opening Date
22 Sep 2022
M18 Sexual Scenes
122 mins
English with Chinese subtitles
Drama, Thriller
Olivia Wilde
Florence Pugh, Harry Styles, Olivia Wilde, Gemma Chan, KiKi Layne, Chris Pine
Alice (Florence Pugh) and Jack (Harry Styles) are lucky to be living in Victory, the experimental company town housing the men who work for the top-secret Victory Project and their families. Life is perfect, with every resident's needs met by the company. All they ask in return is unquestioning commitment to the Victory cause. But when cracks in their idyllic life begin to appear, exposing flashes of something much more sinister lurking beneath the attractive façade, Alice can't help questioning what they're doing in Victory, and why. Just how much is Alice willing to lose to expose what's really going on in paradise?
By InCinemas  21 Sep 2022
Florence Pugh proves she’s one of the finest talents of her generation.
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There was much anticipation for Olivia Wilde’s sophomore film following the success of Booksmart that debuted in 2019. It’s a shame that the loudest noise Don’t Worry Darling has driven is attributed to the hot gossip surrounding the controversies between her and lead actress Florence Pugh, overshadowing the film itself.

The psychological thriller follows young couple Alice and Jack Chambers in the 1950s, living in the seemingly perfect company town of Victory, California, which has been created and paid for by the mysterious company for which Jack works. Curiosity about the nature of her husband's work on the secret "Victory Project" begins to consume Alice. Cracks then begin to form in their utopian life as her investigation into the project raises tensions within the community. Led by Pugh, the film stars an ensemble cast that includes Wilde, Harry Styles, Gemma Chan, KiKi Layne, Nick Kroll, and Chris Pine.

Wilde’s direction is clear and apparent through Matthew Libatique’s crisp cinematography - enhanced by a tension-building score from John Powell that sets the film’s tone of mystery - but the film falters where an equally gripping screenplay is concerned. While the plot is admittedly interesting, some of the writing choices aren’t. To an extent, the film is very much style over substance (pun very well intended). With that, Don’t Worry Darling excels in its production and costume department, bringing to life a 50s utopia viewers would secretly wish to live in (if it weren't for the underlying sinister truth behind it). The aesthetic of the film may be enough to entrance its audience and drown out weak dialogue but even that has its limits. 

It really all comes down to Pugh–the clear driving force of the film with much of its success lying heavily on her shoulders. The rest of the supporting cast have lesser to do in comparison though Pine does make good use of his time on-screen giving off creepy cult leader vibes as founder of the "Victory Project", Frank. We had hoped to see Styles prove himself more than a popstar with a pretty face and while he does deliver a solid performance as Jack opposite Pugh's Alice, it sometimes feels overdone. 

Don’t Worry Darling has the makings of something great but it falls short with its weak third act, almost diminishing the time and effort spent in building up to it. This feature may not have accomplished much for Wilde as Booksmart had but it does cement Pugh as one of the finest talents of her generation.
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