Don’t Worry Darling, the second feature film by actress Olivia Wilde, entered our lives thanks to the scandal it created. Already, the highly anticipated movie, with Florence Pugh and Harry Style in the leading roles, sat at the top of our watch list with the discussions that broke out after it. Olivia Wilde wanted to give the lead role to Shae LeBoeuf, but the actor left afterward. Director Olivia Wilde said I got him out, while Shae LeBoeuf counterattacked by saying, “Nobody can kick me out, I’m out.” But then we saw in the leaked video that Olivia Wilde even insisted on keeping the actor, let alone firing him. Nowadays, we learn that the director and Florence Pugh had a serious fight on the set, and the actress announced that she would not participate in the press for this reason.
Would I have watched if this scandal had not happened? Yes. Did the scandal fuel my curiosity? Definitely yes. Let me briefly summarize what I will write at length for the movie I went to with great curiosity: Aside from all the scandalous and controversial discussions, the film is really wonderful. One of the best movies I’ve seen this year. Even though there are minor imperfections in its story, from its editing to its music, from its acting to its set design, the movie is pure gold. I’m surprised that Olivia Wilde has made such an impressive film. After the scandal, I thought that the movie was at a debatable level, but while watching the movie, neither scandal nor controversy came to my mind. And that is what movies should make me feel.
Let’s talk about it briefly… Alice and Jack live happily in a town called the Victory project. In the town, which is a replica of America’s 1960s, men go to work in the morning, while women stay at home and do the cleaning while smoking cigarettes. But there is something strange in the town. Everything is more than perfect. When Alice leaves her perfect life, even for an hour, she encounters another reality she cannot explain.
In a nutshell, Don’t Worry Darling is a modernized and decrypted version of the Stepford Wife. At the Stepford Wife, we’d never been able to see how things worked in the background, even though we found out the reason for the awkwardness in town. Don’t Worry Darling turns Stepford Wifes’ low-key ’70s mystery into dystopian modernity. The story written by Katie Silberman, Carey Van Dyke, and Shane Van Dyke preserves its mystery at every moment and keeps its curiosity warm except in the dinner scene. The problem with the dinner scene was that the chaos I expected to happen there remained weak. Watching Alice get crushed by Frank while I was hoping for a much louder and more chaotic fight made me a little bit disappointed.
A parody of a time when women waited for their husbands at the door in the smoke-clouded landscapes of the 1960s, Victory Project takes women and places them back in the old male-dominated era. When the period of women who can’t do anything without their husbands’ permission gives way to the period of women who interfere in life and manage to rise above men, Jack finds the solution to go back to the old days. Unemployment is just a fake excuse here; the real problem is that a “man” is crushed by a woman who can stand on her own feet. Victory Project promises the flamboyant and strong male image of Mad Men. Under the influence of this promise, he makes a selfish decision and tries to cover it up with the lie that “I did it for you.”
Although I wondered why the town was period-like at the beginning of the movie, over time, I started to realize that something was wrong, like Alice in the movie. Even 20 minutes is enough to question the reality of such a town. This town, which used to be normal back then, can be only a freak in the world of 2022. Affonso Gonçalves’ exquisite editing deepens the strangeness that increases as the story progresses. However, the main owner of the question marks in my mind over time is John Powell. I experienced all the tension and mystery of the movie with the creepy soundtrack that sounds like from A24 movies.
Except for my disappointment at the dinner table, the movie progresses perfectly until the last moment and ends with a very successful Climax. Not only the chase in the desert but also the ending of Frank puts the film in a different position for me. Over and over, I repeat: Please write original stories. It’s nice to see that my rebellion gets a response from time to time. I wish more and more such original and unobtrusive “strong woman” themed films.
To sum it up… Don’t Worry Darling creates a sensation outside the big screen with its scandals, yet it’s not just that. The movie on the screen is one of the best of the year. Olivia Wilde’s directing is surprisingly top-notch. When Matthew Libatique’s images, Affonso Gonçalves’ editing, and especially John Powell’s music are combined with the director’s vision, we receive a fantastic movie. But of course, it has to be admitted that Florence Pugh dragged the film alone. I have to say that the actress, whom I have followed fondly since Lady Macbeth, fully embraced the film despite everything that happened behind the camera. The fact that Harry Styles didn’t grin shows that the movie is a beautiful and collaborative product.
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