*warning: spoilers ahead*
“Don’t Worry Darling” presents the consequences of a seemingly utopian society through obsessive romance and surprising plot twists.
The movie follows the lives of newlyweds Alice (Florence Pugh) and Jack Chambers (Harry Styles) in the Victory Project — a residential project that enforces traditional values of men serving as the providers and women assuming the housewife role.
Frank (Chris Pine), the mastermind behind the project, reveals little about his personal life, yet the members of the community are beyond enamored of him. At first, Alice and Jack’s life seem enjoyable (looking past its sexist ways); a sweet wife prepares breakfast and bids her husband goodbye with his briefcase in her hand and a smile on her face. She spends the rest of the day doing chores and once he arrives, she opens the door with a welcoming smile on her face. They get along with their neighbors and live in a safe, good-looking community.
However, this seemingly romantic life full of love and balance is only surface level and hides dark secrets within.
Perfection is not always truly perfect, as was the case in this story. The “perfect” life Alice and Jack lived was all an illusion.
In the real world, Alice worked as a surgeon, while Jack didn’t have a job. He lived off her money and relied on her to take care of him, creating a sense of resentment. Then, Jack came to know about the Victory Project, an appealing opportunity to live his ideal happy life.
The movie portrays a lover desperately trying to repair the tense relationship with his wife even if it means holding her against her will. To Jack, the illusion of the Victory Project was like living the dream, but for Alice she was living a nightmare.
Director Olivia Wilde captures the early 1950s beautifully with the fashion and architecture. The wives’ mid century outfits constantly remain crisp with no wrinkles. The film’s set design takes inspiration from Palm Springs— a place where Hollywood’s A-list celebrities in the 1950s lived and threw parties.
Production designer Katie Byron, used glass to create houses that reflect the story’s message. Glass shatters easily and allows for surveillance whether it’s people looking in or the owners of the houses watching people outside.
Overall, “Don’t Worry Darling” showcases the somewhat reckless decisions people make to keep the people they love around them, and that even a picture perfect photograph may hide a darker truth in the shadows.