Arts & Reviews

‘Don’t Worry Darling’ Review: Florence Pugh Shines

By: Alejandro Lago

Photo Courtesy of IMDb.com

Don’t Worry Darling (2022), is a psychological rollercoaster where Florence Pugh shines. This fast-paced thriller directed by Olivia Wilde has entertained Harry Styles fans and Florence Pugh fans alike. Don’t Worry Darling was released in theaters on September 23rd. The movie follows Alice and Jack, who live in an idealized community called Victory. The men in the town go away to work on a top-secret project for the “government” while the women stay home and enjoy the luxury of their seemingly perfect paradise. However, when Alice starts to see flashes of a previous life, she begins to question what she’s really doing in Victory. 

The fast-paced action movie has gathered approximately $21 Million in its first weekend domestic box office (Box Office Mojo). This is comparable to The Woman King (2022) which opened on September 16th to $19 Million in its first weekend (Box Office Mojo). I was able to experience the movie in its entirety on its opening weekend and I felt that the movie surpassed my expectations. Due to its fast-paced plot and its shocking plot twists, I felt immersed in the film. However, the movie was not perfect. 

Florence Pugh, who is an Academy Award nominee, was the highlight of this film. Her portrayal of Alice Chambers was phenomenal. She successfully outshined her co-lead and that is where the problem of the film resides. Popular music artist, Harry Styles, made his acting debut in this movie, and although it was great to see him in a major film, when compared to Florence Pugh, his performance lacked substance. It was obvious that this was his first role and due to his acting skills, the overall plot suffered. Other actors in this film include Olivia Wilde, Chris Pine, Gemma Chan, and Nick Kroll. I thought that all of these actors did an excellent job and deserved more screen time. 

Photo courtesy of Variety.com

The film currently sits at 39% on Rotten Tomatoes with 292 reviews. I disagree with the critics on this score. Although some of the performances given were lackluster, Florence Pugh’s performance made up for it. If I were to grade this film on a scale of 1-100%, I would give it an 80%. Elamin Abdelmahmoud, movie & television critic for Buzzfeed, describes the film as, “an entertaining thriller replete with well-built tension, mostly elegant acting performances, except for Harry Styles’s, and a richly designed world” (Abdelmahmoud). I agree with this review and think that Abdelmahmoud perfectly described the film and what it lacked. Although the film has an average critic rating of 39%, the audience score is sitting at 75% (Rotten Tomatoes). I believe that the audience score is more reflective of the film in its entirety. 

All in all, the movie is an entertaining ride and I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in seeing it. Although it lacks in certain aspects, I think that the plot and Florence Pugh’s performance make up for it. Olivia Wilde does an excellent job directing the film and starring in it. Don’t Worry Darling is a visually pleasing ride that takes place in the 60s era. The fashion fully immerses you in the film and helps make the town, Victory, feel more realistic. Overall, I would give the movie four out of five stars. The story left me on the edge of my seat and the ending left me stressed out for Pugh’s character, Alice. Although not the best film I’ve seen this year, I would still recommend it to anyone remotely interested. 

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