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After all the drama surrounding the production of Olivia Wilde’s sophomore directorial feature, “Don’t Worry Darling” is finally here. And, in one word, it is disappointing. 

“Don’t Worry Darling” follows Alice Chambers (Florence Pugh), who’s a loyal and steadfast housewife to Jack Chambers (Harry Styles), who works for a company called the Victory Project. The group and its proceedings are shrouded in mystery, and causes Alice to question her reality in a 1950s cul-de-sac utopia. 

Alice’s suspicion increases when she watches one of her friends die, and everyone around her seems to be attempting to cover it up and call her crazy. As Alice continues searching for answers, she starts seeing things that aren’t there, and becomes convinced that she’s losing her mind. However, as she butts heads with the owner of the Victory Project, Frank (Chris Pine), she’s compelled to push forward and find out all that she can. 

To put it plainly, this film is a mess. The members of this utopian society aren’t even subtle in silencing the questioning of authority. If you’re going to be evil, do it a bit more subtly. On top of the poorly directed characters, the plot isn’t fully developed, the acting isn’t great and I predicted the plot twist within the first 10 minutes of the movie. 

Without giving too much away, this film feels as if Jordan Peele wrote a really good social commentary, but with all of the nuance and intrigue that makes his movies so great taken out. I feel like Wilde was so caught up in having a good commentary on toxic and controlling men in today’s society that she forgot you need to have a plot around that commentary. The social commentary this film does provide is quite profound; I wish the rest of the film was as well developed as the twist. 

“Don’t Worry Darling” is also elegantly shot, and the cinematography gives the audience a sense of the grand scope and beauty of the setting, while also making you feel trapped and enclosed in the space. A good example of this is when Alice is cleaning the windows of her house, which she does as a daily, mundane task. This time, however, the walls start closing in on her, and even when the walls return to normal and she’s set free, you can still sense she feels trapped and suffocated. A huge nod goes to Director of Photography Matthew Libatique for this wonderfully shot film. 

Another thing I really enjoyed about this film were the performances by Pugh and Pine. They both played their parts to perfection. Pugh’s distress at every turn feels genuine, and Pine’s effortless charisma conflicted with that perfectly. I would’ve loved to see more of Pine’s character on screen and had him developed more as a villain, but what we got of him was still acceptable. 

However, even the standout performances of these two powerhouse actors couldn’t save this mess. From the half-baked script to the questionable performance by a certain floppy-haired Brit, there’s not much Pugh and Pine could’ve done to save “Don’t Worry Darling.” 

Overall, this film is visually elegant — yet a very confusing mess — and gave us a fantastic performance from Pugh and Pine with some wild behind-the-scenes stories to gossip about with our friends. So, if you’re looking for something optically appealing with not much more under the surface, check out “Don’t Worry Darling” in theaters. 

culture@dailynebraskan.com