By Nkatha Wainaina
Don’t Worry Darling is a two hour long mystery thriller, directed by Olivia Wilde.
Alice (Florence Pugh) and Jack ( Harry Styles), live in a idealized community of Victory in the 1950s. It’s an experimental company town that houses the men who work at a top secret project. Their wives stay home, cook for them, clean, go shopping and wait for them to come home. The husbands work hard at the job they are not allowed to speak about, while their wives enjoy the luxury and beauty of their seemingly perfect lives.
After witnessing a plane crash, Alice starts to see things. She starts noticing a few things are not right in the neighborhood. She slowly starts questioning what she’s doing in Victory. She traces all the problems back to Frank, played by Chris Pine, the founder of the project. She tries telling people including her husband of her suspicions but they all tell her she’s crazy. She’s taken through a procedure that makes her forget all her suspicions.
Eventually she ends up remembering everything. Her husband lost his job and he was having trouble getting back on his feet. She worked as a surgeon and had to take up more shifts to keep them afloat. Seeing how miserable his life and that of his wife had become, and she not having time for him, he opted to sign up for a project he had seen online.
I had major problems with this movie, especially around the storyline. It was a fine storyline. I must admit I did not see that twist coming. But the plot holes were too massive to ignore. This project was a simulation that took place in their bedroom. Did no one never try to come into the house? Not even the landlord? Alice was a surgeon, did no one notice she was missing? What was the project they were working on? Was Frank’s wife in on it as well? Other than the general outline, the movie did not give any satisfactory answer or ending.
With all these, my attention was directed towards the husband. He completely altered his life and his wife’s, for her to be comfortable. For her to stop working and stop worrying. Or he completely stopped her life so that she could be completely his and have time for him. Is that romantic or controlling?
The actors were alright. Harry Styles was either very consumed in his role or completely disinterested. Which ever one it was, it worked in his favour. Other than his accent that changed whenever he spoke, he did a good job. Florence arguably carries the whole film on her own, with a few other characters doing a great job with the five minutes of screen time they get.
I would recommend this movie only for the different perspective it brings out: do you think Jack’s actions are justified or completely selfish?. The description of the movie is well placed. It maintained the mystery well up to the end. It doesn’t drag on for a long time and relatively enjoyable if you see past the glaring gaps.