‘Don’t Worry Darling’ is an aesthetic success, lacking dialogue – The Lafayette
A lot of times people tell me that they choose movies based on their ratings on Rotten Tomatoes, which is such a shame because they often miss out on those more interesting movies that try to do things differently. For example, the recent “Don’t Worry Darling” received below average ratings, but I think it’s a really good movie. If a few flaws had been corrected, it could have been excellent.
The film tells the story of Jack (Harry Styles) and Alice (Florence Pugh) living in an idealized suburban community called Victory where the men work on a classified project while the women are forced to stay home. As the town’s women live comfortably on the assumption that their husbands are working diligently to protect them, Alice begins to suspect that their place in the world is part of a more sinister agenda.
What stands out about the film is its distinctive look. Several moments make great use of coordinated movements to create disturbing symmetries on screen. For example, there are dance sequences where women follow the same set of moves and create hypnotic shapes. These moments provide visual manifestations of conformity and represent restrictive definitions of gender in society.
There’s also a repetitive edit that draws more attention to this theme of control over women’s lives. Sometimes watching the movie is like fixing your eyes on a perfectly retouched image, an image so perfect it becomes uncomfortable to watch. Given the dystopian setting, this aesthetic style lends itself well to the story.
I also think the performances were surprisingly impressive. Leading lady Pugh takes on a demanding role here, and I think she manages to trick viewers into believing the titular character’s bizarre and restrictive circumstances.
Styles also delivers a well-rounded and solid performance as the secret husband. He’s understated and mysterious in a way that works to the film’s advantage. Obviously, he is the one who attracts the box office of the film, but he does not take over the film and that is good.
The film fails in two areas: its dialogue and its ending. The characters in the film explain things too much and there are a lot of arguments that cause the story to stagnate rather than build the plot.
This brings me to my second point about the ending of the movie: I feel like it should have ended about 20 minutes earlier. There’s a hard-hitting reveal and twist that deserved more emphasis and the climactic chase sequence wasn’t nearly as exciting as this moment.
Overall, the movie works, and I think it offers a slightly fresh perspective on feminist stories through the dystopian setting and unexpected narrative twists. So I recommend it.