Don’t Worry Darling Feels Like a Movie


Don’t Worry Darling released on Setember 23. The movie made $19.2 million in it’s first weekend in theaters.

Braelyn Jackson-Pointer, Staff Writer

Don’t Worry Darling, a movie directed by Olivia Wilde, released on September 23. This film has had a lot of scandal and drama surrounding it during and prior to its release. When the movie first started filming Wilde had come out with her relationship with Harry Styles who was brought on after Wilde allegedly fired Shia LaBeouf after his domestic violence charges were released to the public. Wilde claimed she fired him to protect Pugh because she felt uncomfortable working with him. 

About a month ago LaBeouf posted emails and texts between him and Wilde showing that he wanted to step down from the role because he didn’t feel like he had enough time to rehearse for it. Later a video was leaked of Wilde saying that she still wanted LaBeouf on the film. She also said that “I think this is a wake up call for Miss Flo” Referring to Pugh.

This caused a lot of debate around the film and put more attention on the alleged rift between Pugh and Wilde. Some of the rumors surrounding the film claim Pugh didn’t like seeing Wilde getting with Styles after her recent break up with her fiancé Jason Sudeikis.

On an interview with Stephen Colbert, Wilde still claims that she let  LaBeouf go. When the abuse claims came out she felt that she made the right decision. She refers to all the bad press and seemingly little things that people read into as “foolish speculation” on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

Spoiler Warning Ahead

After the first scene where we see Alice(Pugh) and Jack Chambers(Styles) having a fun time with their neighbors. The morning after, all the wives in the neighborhood (which is in the middle of the desert) came out to bid their husbands goodbye and then start their daily house tasks. Straight off the bat the movie gave off cult vibes especially with the goodbye scene.

Alice is shown going to ballet class, the pool, and to the town shopping center. She mainly hangs out with her best friend Bunny(Wilde) who smokes a lot throughout the movie and complains about her kids. All of their husbands work on something called the Victory Project, which is heavily referenced throughout the movie. The husbands are not supposed to talk about their job to their wives or even other ‘departments’ as Jack says when Alice asks.

The leader Frank(Chris Pine) and his wife Shelley(Gemma Chan) host an event with some of the employees at their home. All seems to be going well after Frank’s speech until Margaret(Kiki Layne) pipes up and starts asking questions like “what are you guys really doing?” and “what are you hiding from us?” Prior to this event, she was banded as crazy by the community because she started asking questions she wasn’t supposed to after she ventured into the desert where they aren’t supposed to go.

Alice starts worrying about Margaret and begins to question their perfect life herself. She starts to get these weird visions of dancing girls in black and white and keeps hearing a song with them. One day she’s on the town trolley when she sees a plane crash in the mountains in the desert surrounding them. Alice asks the trolley driver to drive up there to see if the people are ok, but He tells her that it’s not his route and that he will be looping around town. Frustrated, she gets off and walks to where they’re not supposed to and ends up at headquarters where she leaves the simulation for the first time and passes out. She wakes up in her home in bed to her husband’s horrible attempt at cooking. 

In the end she brushes it off until  ballet class where she sees Margaret in the mirror seemingly bashing her head into the mirror as it shatters and her head is bleeding. Panicked Alice screams just to discover there’s nothing there.  runs out of class and goes to Margaret’s house, where she sees Margaret on her roof. Margaret slits her throat and falls off and immediately men in red jumpsuits run out and stop her from going to Margaret to help her.

When Alice questions Jack about it later he gaslights her by saying she didn’t see anything and that she just fell form a roof while cleaning. Alice keeps spiraling to the point where she’s having nightmares where she sees that same dancing girls and they go to the doctor. The doctor tries to prescribe Alice some pills which she refuses.

Later Jack is promoted to senior level clearance within the victory project. The couple also host Frank, Shelley and two other couples for dinner. Frank speaks with Alice privately and tells her that he’s been waiting for someone like her to challenge him. 

At dinner she does by mentioning how most couples met on a train, honeymooned in the same places, or were from Boston. Frank gaslights her and the guests at the table by saying maybe you should take their offer of mental health treatment in the form of those pills. In this scene it really makes the audience feel for Alice and also realize how brainwashed these people really are.

Alice and Jack have a heart to heart moment after the disaster of a dinner which really ends with Alice getting taken in to get another round of brainwashing. She was too far gone to the point where she was gonna figure everything out so they had to take her out and put her back in. But then she starts to get these flashbacks to what seems like todays time, where she’s a surgical resident in a hospital and that Jack is struggling to find a job.

She eventually figures out that they are living in a simulation and confronts Jack about it where he tries to convince her to stay with him there. Alice ends up killing Jack by accident and Bunny comes to check on them. Bunny reveals that she knew that this was a simulation and went into it willingly, to keep her kids which she lost in the real world, unlike most of the other wives. She tells Alice to run because Frank will try to come after her now that she knows.

The movie ends with an intense car chase scene where they’re trying to stop her from going to ‘headquarters’ which is how they get out of the simulation. The last scene is a black screen with you hearing Alice taking a deep breath in as she wakes up.

Personally I think the plot twist was great and they did a great job building up to it, but I would have wanted to see something else in the end. It leaves me wondering “what happened after she woke up?” and “what happened to the other wives if they ever found out?” That’s mainly why this movie got a point and a half off for me. The ending was a cliff hanger and there were a lot of plot holes. One being what was the plane all about and why did it seem to waver in the sky? It was a simulation and nobody ever flew anywhere they drove so why was that put in the simulation.

I believe they definitely could have done way more with the ending, It was really abrupt. the climax of the movie happened then it didn’t resolve itself very well. I did hear other people say that the middle was a little boring and that the suspense was all for basically nothing. The middle wasn’t boring to me, it seemed to build the suspense for the climax. I personally think that the ending was very rushed. 

I do think that the movie is getting a lot of unnecessary hate because of the drama surrounding the cast and critics aren’t taking it very seriously. The cast did a great job but it was an outstanding performance from Florence Pugh. I thought Styles was gonna fall too far behind with high emotional scenes but he seemed to be keeping up with her for the most part. There were definitely some scenes where he couldn’t match the standard but I think he did a great job.

I’d rate this movie an 8.5/10. I really liked it and it’s not something I would usually go for but if you like thrillers this would be for you. I would love to hear some of the readers’ opinions in the comments. What did you think of the performance of the actors and what did you think of the ending?