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Alternative Reality

Don’t Worry Darling (2022)

Duration2h 2m
RatingsUK: 15, USA: R, Denmark: 15
Source of storyA not terribly original screenplay
DirectorOlivia Wilde
Writers/ScriptKatie Silberman (story Carey and Shane Van Dyke)
StarringFlorence Pugh, Harry Styles, Chris Pine, Olivia Wilde, Gemma Chan, Nick Kroll, Dita Von Teese, 
RatingsIMDb: 6.3/10 by 12,143 people.  Rotten Tomatoes: 38% by 231 reviewers. Review2view: 6.5/10.

Summary: We join Alice and Jack Chambers on a typical day in Victory, a desert town where the sun shines and everything seems to be wonderful. Jack and his neighbours motor off to work in their shiny cars leaving Alice and her neighbours at home where they clean and wash and in time prepare an evening meal for their husbands. When Jack returned Alice meets him at the door with an alcoholic drink and almost immediately they go to it on the dining room table scattering the crockery.  There is a downside to this 1950s ideal. The ladies are not allowed to leave the town, and they have no idea what their husbands do. Alice questions the whole situation and seeing one of her fellow wives cut her throat on the roof of a house and fall to the ground makes her even more suspicious. When she comes up against the town’s benefactor, Frank, her life may be in danger.

Content: There is enthusiastic non-revelatory sex and a lot of drinking. It is the 1950s after all. At one party a stripper entertains. The wives spend their days cleaning, cooking and engaging in various collective exercises, sometimes being led by Frank’s wife Shelley. The town of Victory is crisp and white and curiously antiseptic. At odd times when things go wrong men in red jumpsuits appear to take control. Alice finds eggs with no content and at one time attempts suicide to test the environment.  There are dinners where Frank and Alice go head to head.

A View: There has been a lot of off piste noise about this film, most of it irrelevant to the final product, apart from the replacement of Shea LaBoeuf with Harry Styles. I didn’t even know who Harry Styles was but now I do now, and it seems a bit unfair to pair him with such an accomplished performer as Florence Pugh. But getting to the point, The whole film depends on the final reveal, which I won’t reveal but which was less than satisfactory, raising more questions than it answers. I was left going…and what about…and then if this then… But don’t be put off by all the negative reviews (including mine) the 1950s environment is wonderfully presented, making the film worth watching just for that. 

Olivia Wilde is a new director, feted for her work in Booksmart and has featured in many films reviewed on this site, including Better Living Through Chemistry and Richard Jewell. 

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels

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