Monday Dec 5, 2022
Monday Dec 5, 2022

Is ‘Don’t Worry Darling’ worth all the drama?


Nepalnews
2022 Sep 25, 21:27,
This image released by Warner Bros. Entertainment shows Harry Styles, left, and Florence Pugh in a scene from "Don't Worry Darling." (via AP)

Somewhere around when TikTok videos were analyzing, with the intensity of the Zapruder film, whether spit flew at the Venice Film Festival premiere of Olivia Wilde’s “Don’t Worry Darling,” it became clear that the melodrama of the movie’s promotional tour had easily eclipsed the movie, itself.

The tabloid frenzy that engulfed “Don’t Worry Darling” was so public, so out in the open that it quickly passed into something kind of exhausting. I would definitely rather re-watch “Don’t Worry Darling” the movie than replay that media storm. But in some ways, the on-screen and off-screen dramas go hand-in-hand. Like that fraught Venice debut, Wilde’s movie, set in a Palm Springs fantasy world, brings together beautiful faces in a sunny, fashionable locale with the possibility of sinister doings afoot.

“Don’t Worry Darling,” which opens in theaters Friday, takes a kind of “Stepford Wives” or “Truman Show” concept and reorients it with a potent #MeToo lens. All the ingredients are here for a powerful dystopic drama: Wilde, an ascendant filmmaker coming off her terrific debut, the 2019 teen comedy “Booksmart”; Florence Pugh, one of the most electric young actors working in film today; Harry Style’s pop presence; and some sensational mid-century modern production design thanks to Richard Neutra’s Kaufmann Desert House.

This image released by Warner Bros. Entertainment shows Florence Pugh, left, and Harry Styles in a scene from "Don't Worry Darling." (via AP)
This image released by Warner Bros. Entertainment shows Florence Pugh, left, and Harry Styles in a scene from "Don't Worry Darling." (via AP)

Yet for all its promise, “Don’t Worry Darling” at every twist and turn lacks the right balance of suspense. Wilde, working from a script by Katie Silberman, conjures a kind of ’50s-style utopia in which the young married couple Alice (Pugh) and Jack Kramden (Styles) live on a picturesque cul-de-sac. Every morning the devoted housewives kiss their suit-clad husbands goodbye before they drive off to a mysterious dirt mountain in the desert to do whatever keeps this strange male fantasy humming.

“Don’t Worry Darling” is ultimately neither worthy of all the off-screen fuss nor quite the on-screen disappointment it’s been made out to be. It’s a promising but clunky thriller that feels to me like it’s mistaken two acts for three, overly drawing out the portentous set-up and leaving off the story, after its big twist ending, just as it’s getting interesting.

“Don’t Worry Darling,” a Warner Bros. release, is rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America for sexuality, violent content and language. Running time: 123 minutes. Two and a half stars out of four.

This image released by Warner Bros. Entertainment shows Harry Styles in a scene from "Don't Worry Darling." (via AP)
This image released by Warner Bros. Entertainment shows Harry Styles in a scene from "Don't Worry Darling." (via AP)

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'Don't Worry Darling' tabloid frenzy Venice Film Festival
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