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Review: Florence Pugh Carries An Undeserving ‘Don’t Worry Darling’

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Florence Pugh continues to be an absolute cinematic force in Don’t Worry Darling, even as the film around struggles to find its footing.

Living in the ideal town of Victory, Alice (Pugh) begins questioning everything that is happening around her as her husband (Harry Styles) fights to keep the status quo. Don’t Worry Darling has a familiar premise that evokes comparisons to films like The Village and The Stepford Wives, the focus on a character gaining awareness of reality as the manufactured facade slowly falls. The main problem (among many) with the film is that it takes the majority of the runtime for Pugh’s Alice to make any headway in connecting the dots, mere minutes before the film ends. The realization caps off a frustratingly unevenly paced outing from director Olivia Wilde that fails to do anything with the initial intrigue garnered.

Pugh is phenomenal here, as per usual, serving as the lead in both the story itself and in acting prowess. Even as Don’t Worry Darling fights to find direction, Pugh gives it her all. Her performance is all the more impressive opposite Styles who continues to flounder as leading man. Chris Pine, here playing the mastermind behind Victory, is intensely creepy and mysterious, a very solid outing for the actor. It all folds into a film that doesn’t quite know what it is; this much was clear during the marketing. A romance? A mystery? A sci-fi film? Maybe it’s all three, but Wilde fails to mesh the tropes together, resulting in film that thinks it is smarter than it really is with the central themes making themselves known for a brief moment in the third act before Irish-exiting to make room for an anticlimactic ending. When the drama surrounding the production of the film is more compelling, you know you have stinker. Wilde should be forever thankful that Pugh waded in these undeserving waters.

Don’t Worry Darling is now playing.

Rating: 2/5

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