Everything you need to know from ‘Don’t worry darling’ | A review

Florence Pugh is the highlight of the film. (Photo: Warner release)
Florence Pugh is the highlight of the film. (Photo: Warner release)


The movie Don’t Worry Darling premiered last month, and it brought a lot of reflections. Apart from the possible behind-the-scenes intrigues, Olivia Wilde presented a cohesive film, and with some reasonable criticisms. The following article contains spoilers, if you haven’t seen the movie yet, be careful.

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At first, the audience is introduced to the protagonist couple, Alice and Jack, played by Florence Pugh and Harry Styles. The two seem to have a perfect life, in the 50s, with perfect neighbors. Life is wonderful in the so-called ‘Victory Project’, led by Frank, played by Chris Pine. Soon after, Alice starts having visions of women dancing, and that she is drowning. All this after meeting with a former friend, who questioned the project. From there, we see the protagonist trying to understand in depth what is happening in the protected neighborhood.


Alice starts to realize that something doesn’t fit, and starts to realize that things aren’t as real and happy as they seem. She then begins to clash with her husband, and with the local leader. Even her friend Bunny, played by director Olivia Wilde herself, turns against her friend, and advises her to leave it behind. The big plot twist moment of the plot is when Alice discovers that the Victory Project is a virtual reality, and that all the women present are brainwashed. Except for Bunny, who assumes she’s there because she wanted to, since in real life she lost both children, and there she can have them. Almost a parallel with Wanda, in Wandavision.

It all happens after Jack puts her through another brainwashing process, at which point the viewer realizes that the couple’s real life takes place in NY, in present times, where Alice is a surgeon with no free time, and Jack is unemployed and discredited. At this point, it is discovered that Jack signed up for Frank’s project to theoretically provide a happy life for him and his wife. But what would happiness be?

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In the end, Alice remembers everything. The audience is introduced to the real Alice, who is on a bed, with an item in her eyes scanning or creating the virtual reality of a perfect life. After finding out, she hits a glass on her husband’s head and ends up killing him. Her friend Bunny then warns her of the dangers this situation can cause, and helps her escape. The focus is on getting to a headquarters, which can take people from there to the real world. In a very dramatic scene, Alice arrives at the place and manages to get her hands on the glass, which would take her back to the real world. For the spectator, the screen goes black, and it is possible to hear the character’s breathing. As if she was waking up. Jack, being killed in the virtual world, ends up dying in real life as well. And an important detail: Frank’s wife takes advantage of a moment of distraction and hits him with a knife.

Points of reflection and curiosities

The first point to be considered in this film is the search for the perfect life and happiness. The concept of perfection and happiness can be distorted, and overturned. It ends up with a life in the 50s, in which the woman takes care of the house and participates in minor tasks, like going to the market, going to the club. She confines herself to that. The main character brings strength and a refined intelligence, since she is a surgeon, and for some reason she is suspicious of that environment.

Themes such as gaslighting, autonomy over one’s own body, commanding decisions, machismo and patriarchal control over women are key in Wilde’s film. The main character herself is passed off as crazy, with all the men in the ‘town’ knowing the truth and hiding it. Alice wants to decide what to do with her own life, and ends up being forced by her husband into a false reality, which does not bring her the promised happiness. The Victory Project is an example of a society that imposes and decides the roles that women must assume: always benefiting and supporting their men. Many times, someone’s happiness can end up being toxic to the other. In the end, everyone has the right to choose their own source of happiness, within common criteria. Don’t Worry Darling prioritizes a dramatic and psychological narrative, using panoramic images and tension. Florence Pugh’s performance is a highlight, and arguably the best part of the film.


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