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Harry Kinds, Florence Pugh Thriller

styles and pugh in bed

Harry Kinds and Florence Pugh in Don’t Fear Darling.
Picture: Warner Bros.

Don’t Fear Darling has fashion. And we don’t simply imply Harry Kinds. It’s received an incredible look and feel about it. Impeccable manufacturing and costume design. Shiny, stunning cinematography. Memorable, impactful musical selections and a hypnotic, distinctive rating. There’s little question that director Olivia Wilde has crafted a world and movie that oozes panache and marvel. It’s only a disgrace that the story it’s in service of by no means fairly lives as much as it.

In Don’t Fear Darling, Alice (Florence Pugh) and Jack (Harry Kinds) appear to have an ideal life. He’s received an excellent job, she’s received a ton of mates, they’re continually intimate, and so they stay within the stunning city of Victory. Victory is an remoted desert neighborhood through which all of the husbands within the city work for a singular firm referred to as the Victory Undertaking. In the meantime, all of the wives keep house, gossip, drink, and ensure there’s a home-cooked meal on the desk when the boys get house. If that appears like a really dated, borderline offensive portrayal of life and gender, you’re heading in the right direction. Although it’s by no means explicitly said, the whole lot about life in Victory screams outdated Nineteen Fifties film. Nearly if that’s by design.

Pine talking to a group of people

Pine woos Wilde and others.
Picture: Warner Bros.

The design comes from Frank (Chris Pine), the chief of Victory Undertaking, who’s an virtually spiritual deity to his neighbors and workers. Frank is promoting heaven on Earth, however that every one adjustments when one of many ladies on the town, Margaret (KiKi Layne), begins to complain about issues being fallacious. Quickly, Alice begins to agree together with her. Thus begins an elaborate thriller the place Alice challenges the very notion of Victory, a lot to the chagrin of just about everybody round her. It’s her versus the world.

Clearly, the whole lot is just not what it appears in Victory and, as you’d anticipate, Alice does start to unravel issues. Nevertheless, as soon as the precise fact of the scenario is revealed, all of it comes aside. The viewers is bombarded with info and motion for the movie’s remaining 20 minutes or so till the film ends reasonably abruptly. For a movie that has been so meticulous about each little element, the shift in tone and story is surprising and damaging.

All of those reveals and information are crucial to the overall story, filling in plot holes, and hammering home some of Wilde’s ultimate themes, which involve gaslighting, misogyny, and privilege. But because it happens so suddenly, and the movie has previously been so cautious tiptoeing around its truths, you’re ultimately left more curious about the hows and whys of the big reveal instead of the film’s intentions. The point of the film is lost because it’s rushed and doesn’t make a lot of sense.

pugh holding broken eggs

The eggs have no yolk.
Image: Warner Bros.

This is a shame because, as we said, Don’t Worry Darling is an otherwise impeccably made movie with some top-notch performances. Pugh is beyond captivating, giving a multilayered portrayal that’s confident and content on the surface, with a layer below that’s slowly unraveling. Each scene in the film sees that interior slowly overtaking the exterior until her scared confusion finally merges with the assertiveness. As her husband, Styles is purposefully charming to an extent that makes you kind of fear him, which adds a nice touch to the story. Supporting roles from the likes of Nick Kroll, Gemma Chan, Timothy Simons, and Wilde herself are all up to the task. Then the other standout is Pine, who makes his cult leader so damn watchable you’re ready to follow him yourself. He also has a few dynamite tete-a-tetes with Pugh that are among the movie’s best scenes. Those performances, coupled with the film’s tantalizing worldbuilding, set the table nicely—but, again, are ultimately let down by the structure and pacing of the story, which is backloaded and murky.

There’s plenty to like in Don’t Worry Darling, and you’d imagine multiple viewings knowing the truth of the narrative might make for a more even experience. But on first viewing, it all comes crashing down, like if the table broke under a jigsaw puzzle when you went to add the final piece.

Don’t Worry Darling is now in theaters.

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