If you’ve not heard about this film yet, chances are you live under a rock. The multiple news headlines detailing the drama behind the scenes and the fact that Harry Styles was cast in the film, were impossible to escape.
As it was released into theaters, critics and watchers alike began bombarding it with negative reviews.
And not without reason.
Imagine that I decided to create an artwork on par with that of Da Vinci or Van Gogh, even though I can barely draw a proper stick figure.
This is what I would compare Don’t Worry Darling to.
Yet despite the scathing reviews, this film does have potential. Technically it might be lacking, but it’s still an entertaining movie with a haunting score composed by John Powell, meant to sow the seeds of unease. If it seems strange that I mentioned the composer at the very start of my review, go ahead and listen to the track Advanced Ballet Class on the album for this movie; you’ll quickly understand why this was one of the first aspects of the film to catch my attention.
Any watcher can sense the ambitious goals this film set for itself but unfortunately, it got lost somewhere along the way to achieving them.
The storyline descends into a plot that’s dishearteningly familiar and leaves little to the imagination. This film also decides to focus on action or the shock factors in scenes where I think a more ominous, subtle tone would have been much more fitting. If Don’t Worry Darling could have leaned more into the mystery/thriller vibe, I think it would have performed much better with its critics, but even though it is categorized in the aforementioned genre, I never truly experienced the tension that a true mystery creates.
The pacing is definitely too slow at the start with the rising action of the movie taking incredibly long to develop but it doesn’t mean there’s nothing to see. Pretty costumes and the aesthetic 50s design of the film try to fill the gap as best as possible.
Disappointingly, the characters could have been swapped out for 2D cutouts and I wouldn’t have noticed.
Florence Pugh is the only actor able to show any emotion throughout the film and she noticeably tries to bring life to a character that isn’t rounded. Chris Pine injects some sinister (and arrogant) charm and curiosity into his villainous persona, but that’s about it.
And there is one question I would love to have answered: Why was Harry Styles’ name mainly used in promotional material?
Yes, I know, the obvious answer is for marketing purposes, but unfortunately for any of Styles’ fans, he doesn’t really bring much to the table. There is very little emotion he is able to convey through Jack, whether it be superficial love for Alice or a banal show of anger. I see it almost as disrespect towards Florence Pugh since she is the main character and carries this film on her shoulders.
Ultimately, after observing the general public’s reaction to this film, I have deduced two things: those with high expectations ended up hating it, and those with low (or no) expectations ended up enjoying it.
This leads to the conclusion that all in all, this film is decidedly average.
As someone with no expectations whatsoever, expecting this to be some kind of love story (the movie poster is quite deceptive, might I add), I was thoroughly entertained.
Florence Pugh is an actress I would watch in almost anything, this film included, and John Powell is one of my favorite composers. I think Powell achieved the weirdness with his score that this film wanted to achieve with its storytelling. The lovely colors and shots, along with some mesmerizing sequences, captured my attention throughout the film.
If you’re interested or bored and looking for something new to watch, give this movie a shot.
Just don’t expect to be blown away by its genius.
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