Going into the theater, I didn’t know what to expect from Olivia Wilde’s film, “Don’t Worry Darling.” How do you approach a movie where the behind-the-scenes is just as dramatic as the plot itself?
Florence Pugh, who plays Alice, is the guiding light of the movie. She has perfected the glazed-over look of disassociation and internal panic. Pugh shows what it is like to live your life, only to eventually start to question what is real and what is not. As the movie progresses, she slowly falls more into paranoid insanity, questioning everyone and everything around her.
Harry Styles plays Alice’s husband, Jack. Now, don’t get me wrong, an actor without professional training is not going to be as organic in their role as a veteran actor like Chris Pine. Through the intense scenes, I couldn’t help but think Styles was doing a direct translation from the script. If it said to start frowning at that moment, he did exactly that. Rather than think of why his character is doing that and the psychology behind it, Styles does as he is told.
Nonetheless, in the less intense scenes, his subtle acting shines through. Moments of disappointment and manipulation directed at Alice is a great example of this. With more experience in roles comes more organic creation of the characters he’ll play.I have no doubt he will get there someday.
Without giving anything away, I do have to point out a couple flashback scenes to Jack in a previous time. It caught the whole theater by surprise, and for good reason. What I will say is this: Styles, apparently, is very good at pulling off a modern-day, creepy incel.
Lastly, I want to mention the role of Chris Pine, who plays Frank, the leader of this community. Frank gives off major “Leo in The Wolf of Wallstreet” vibes. He is power-hungry and able to convince people. One haunting scene was where he starts a chant of “Who’s world is this?”, to which the whole room chanted back, “Ours!” His interactions with Alice are cold and calculated, even though she can see through his facade. Their chemistry (albeit enemy-like) is evident. Though he isn’t in every scene, the ones he appears in are captivating.
Every movie has its strengths and weaknesses. Alongside the great cinematography, the acting, chemistry, and powerful end-title credit screen, it all makes this movie worth a watch or two.