‘Don’t Worry Darling’ Review: Florence Pugh and Harry Styles Get Weird

In case you h ave been fearful, Don’t Worry Darling is a superbly serviceable slice of big-screen weirdness. The slick psychological drama, now on DVD and Blu-ray and streaming on HBO Max, is a shiny, stylishly surreal thriller with one thing to say, that includes Harry Styles, an limitless array of attractive fashions and Florence Pugh in wonderful kind. What extra would you like?

Having premiered in September amid limitless weird reviews from the set and movie festivals, Don’t Worry Darling is accessible to lease and purchase on-line now. It’s additionally out on 4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD in time for Christmas presents for Harry Styles followers. 

Pugh stars as a glamorous Fifties housewife residing a picture-perfect suburban life. She even has a trophy husband, performed by pop star Styles in a wardrobe of impeccable fits and enviable midcentury shirts. But not one of the gossiping wives know the place their husbands go every day of their shiny Cadillacs, and Pugh begins to surprise what’s actually driving the sun-dappled desert city’s easily sinister chief, performed by Chris Pine. No one else appears fearful about it, darling, however there’s positively one thing bizarre happening on this retro utopia.

Director Olivia Wilde slowly cranks up the unsettling elements of this odd idyll, tormenting Pugh’s more and more unsettled housewife with teasing visions and mounting paranoia. Wilde additionally performs one of many different wives, perpetually armed with a cocktail and sharply penciled side-eye. There’s a touch of The Stepford Wives about them, and you may in all probability additionally end up pondering of any variety of midcentury melodramas and home chillers that stab on the suburban fantasy, from Rosemary’s Baby to Blue Velvet to Get Out.  

So yeah, clearly you already know there is a twist coming. I can not get by way of a brief TV episode of Black Mirror or Devs or Tales From the Loop with out impatiently wishing somebody would simply inform me the twist so I can go do one thing extra attention-grabbing. It’s an actual feat to spin a yarn that retains the viewer engrossed for a complete film. Don’t Worry Darling largely pulls it off: As John Powell’s unnerving rating meshes with basic Fifties pop cuts soundtracking the deliciously trendy oddness, I discovered myself half-hoping for no rationalization in any respect. There’s solely a restricted selection of endings for these form of tales and an over-literal answer hardly ever lives as much as the vibe.

Florence Pugh and Harry Styles in Don't Worry Darling.

Florence Pugh and Harry Styles in Don’t Worry Darling.

Warner Bros

As the movie premiered at movie festivals in latest weeks, the weird happenings on display have been matched by extraordinary occasions among the many movie’s director and stars. It is not price rehashing the drama, nevertheless it’s grimly ironic that the off-screen drama has boosted a movie which might simply have sunk with out hint. Don’t Worry Darling is a medium-sized film, and an authentic story — the form of factor you do not see a lot in theaters any extra. Even with large stars aboard, Don’t Worry Darling might simply have been a kind of streaming flicks everybody talks about for 2 years and will get excited in regards to the trailer after which in the future you surprise, hey, no matter occurred to that film, and notice it got here out on Netflix Prime Video Hulu Plus three months in the past.

But do not relish the messy gossip an excessive amount of. The frenzied media circus threatens to overshadow the inventive advantage of a movie directed by a girl, to an extent that is barely conceivable for male filmmakers. Still, even when you have not been following the spit and spats, it is merely unimaginable to enter Don’t Worry Darling with no preconceived notions. You’re not meant to. Styles is the most popular pop star on this planet, Pugh the most popular film star. The scorching pairing of personas is the entire level.


At least it ought to be. Pugh proves her expertise with an nearly informal effortlessness, embodying a theater-filling anguish whereas leaving a lingering impression she nonetheless has extra left within the tank. Pugh delivers a commanding, usually mesmeric efficiency that anchors the movie at even its weakest moments.

And Harry Styles can also be there.

If we’re being charitable, that is a kind of blessed events when a performer’s limitations kinda go well with the character. Like Arnold Schwarzenegger, who cannot persuade anybody he is a human particular person however is ideal as an inarticulate barbarian or stiffened robotic. In Don’t Worry Darling, Styles’ pomaded husband is a fantasy determine, so it is OK that he struggles to inject any emotion into his strains. He’s much less a performer and extra of a prop — one other piece of the shiny furnishings filling the set, like a trendy rug or lamp: stunning, clean and perpetually fading into the background.

At some level through the movie, I considered Matt Smith’s flip in Last Night in Soho. Like Don’t Worry Darling, Last Night in Soho is an ambiguously fantastical drama a couple of lady trapped by in a whirlwind of retro glamor and male violence. Smith performed the silver-tongued, exactly tailor-made seducer, embodying a seething mixture of sexuality, freedom, jealousy and menace. Here, Chris Pine provides all these issues, as a result of Style certain would not.

Giving Styles the advantage of the doubt, casting such a magnetic onstage performer and gloriously playful wearer of garments subverts the retro manliness of Pine, of Jon Hamm in Mad Men, of Sean Connery’s James Bond (glimpsed on a poster within the movie). One scene, which performs to Styles’ performative strengths because it places him squarely within the highlight, provides a whiff of critique for the way in which he is made to caper earlier than us. Which is simply one of many many concepts sloshing round Don’t Worry Darling like ice cubes spilling from a cocktail glass.

These concepts might not be notably delicate or authentic, however at the very least there’s one thing happening beneath the sharkskin fits and pinup attire. Whether the movie is sensible of those themes is one other query, however the entire thing seems to be rooted in seethingly well timed anger.

So the music, the garments and at the very least one of many stars are price your time. While it is from the sum of its components, Don’t Worry Darling is a superbly entertaining B-movie.

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