Don’t Worry Darling – “The Dystopian Thriller Disguised With Gorgeous 50s’ Glamour”

With all the details on the Olivia Wilde’s latest project is Natasha Turnbull

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The highly anticipated “Don’t Worry Darling” made its debut on September 23rd – and it certainly did not fail to live up to expectations. The film includes a notably famous cast, including Florence Pugh (Alice), Harry Styles (Jack) and Chris Pine (Frank). While the star filled line up is what will undoubtably draw viewers in to begin with, the dystopian thriller ends up providing us with far more than the mere joy of seeing our favourite celebrities on screen. Directed by Olivia Wilde, the movie follows the life of Alice and Jack Chambers, a 1950’s couple who live in a utopian neighbourhood known as the Victory Project. Despite the stellar 50’s visuals and glamour, the seemingly perfect life of the protagonists is not quite as picturesque as first appears. 

The film commences by introducing us to protagonists Alice and Jack, we get a preview into their picture-perfect home, their flawless marriage and oddly overly polished neighbourhood. Their small community is populated with other dreamlike couples with their own seemingly perfect lives. Stunning 50’s-esque visuals flood the screen, from the polished pastel colour scheme to the beautifully well executed costuming. Meanwhile, the cinematography captures the precise pouring of coffee and buttering of toast, signifying the role women are designed to play in this society. The housewives cook, clean and lounge around the poolside while their husbands go to work at the forbidden headquarters. 

We soon discover the Victory Project’s leader, Frank, strives for a chaos free community where everyone lives in sync with one another. Naturally, we begin to question how such a place was created and why they are so happily cut off from the rest of society. It seems none of the residents share these same concerns as us viewers, until housewife Margaret (Kiki Layne) interrupts Frank’s speech to warn the others that all is not as it seems. Margaret is promptly shunned from the gathering while the rest of the wives simply believe she is mentally unwell. 

When Alice spots a plane crash nearby headquarters she takes it upon herself to investigate the “forbidden” site. After reaching headquarters in hopes of telling somebody what she saw, she soon discovers much more than expected. As she draws closer, there appears to be a portal of some kind, striking a disturbing sequence of imagery which draws the scene to a close. Then, Alice awakes in her home, and from here forward, she cannot escape the growing feeling that the Victory Project has far less genuine purposes than she is being made to believe.

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Once the dinner table scene begins, the audience is exposed to events which truly begin to show us cracks in the Victory Project’s polished facade. The Chambers couple invite the other neighbourhood couples over for dinner, including project leader Frank. When Frank gets his moment alone with Alice, he antagonises Alice over her mission to discover the truth, causing her to erupt at the dinner table. She attempts to convince everyone that Frank has them all under tight control, only causing the others believe that like Margaret, Alice has lost her mind. 

She tells Jack they need to leave, which after much hesitation he replies with a soft “okay”. Finally, somebody believes Alice, at last she can escape the place she is so clearly a prisoner. So, she gets in the car with Jack, only for guards to snatch her away while her husband screams his apologies at this top of his lungs. 

Suddenly we are teleported to the 21st century version of Alice, leaving her nursing shift to come home to her unemployed partner, Jack. So many questions erupt in our head, but before they are answered Alice is seemingly reset to her “normal” self in the Victory Project. She cooks for her husband in her model home as if nothing ever happened. That’s until Jack begins to hum a song, the same song which has been stuck in Alice’s head since the movie commenced. 

Everything clicks, that song is the one Jack used to sing to Alice in their “old” life together in the 21st century. The world we were quickly flashbacked to was real, and Jack began to feel a growing sadness that his partner had to persistently work to provide for them. So, instead of getting a job, he learns about the Victory Project, a simulated world set in the 1950’s where couples can live their dream lives. Our reaction to this mimics Alice’s perfectly, she is horrified. The housewives have no awareness of the situation they have been placed into, as their husbands wire them up to the programme without their knowledge. 

She knows she must escape, starting with attacking her husband and leaving him dead, making viewers feel absolutely zero remorse. After merely managing to escape through the portal via headquarters, the movie concludes with a loud gasp for air, signifying that she reached her freedom and has woken in the real world.

(Photo fetched from IndieWire)

Overall “Don’t Worry Darling” is a beautifully crafted movie with gorgeous cinematography and visuals. The dark dystopian storyline contrasted with the glamour of the 50’s provides a truly unique viewing experience. Despite its title, we are left in a constant state of worry, just as any remarkable thriller does.

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