‘Don’t Worry Darling’ must be the phrase most used by Boris Johnson to reassure each successive wife when challenged about having an affair but here it’s Alice (Florence Pugh) a seemingly happy and contended housewife to her husband Jack (Harry Styles). But her contentment is first challenged by an outburst from a neighbouring wife Margaret (Kiki Layne) at a party held by their husband’s boss, the unnervingly smooth CEO Frank (Chris Pine). Coming across as more cult leader than bravura boss Frank is being anything but frank with his employees who all reside in a 1950’s sun kissed utopia where his employees live with their wives who have a uniformly glazed look on their face in a manner not dissimilar to Diane Abbott on the numbers round of Countdown. All seem perfectly happy with their ideal lives but it’s when Alice cooks breakfast finds a box of eggs without any egg inside the shell that the film hints at nothing being what it seems and she increasingly suspects that something is very wrong further prompted by her bizarre and sometimes disturbing visions
The nature of the husbands work for Frank’s ominously named Victory company is kept secret and all the men are desperate to please their boss and be his favoured employee. The ominous ground quakes that rattles the houses are taken as just part of life in the town they’ve built that resembles those built for nuclear testing in the Nevada desert but for Alice it’s further suggestion that something is deeply wrong and she determines to get to the bottom of it.
There are obvious comparisons with several films most notably The Stepford Wives but also nods towards ‘The Firm’ and even ‘A Clockwork Orange’ but here with a twist. Directed by Olivia Wilde, who also has a supporting role, she continues a run of must see films and there has been much awards talk around Don’t Worry Darling but really the film is only likely to draw attention for its cinematography and costume design. This is absolutely Pugh’s film who is, as always, very good, as is the often underrated Chris Pine in an eerily ominous supporting role. The casting of Harry Styles will draw in a certain demographic and the jury is still out on whether he’s good in this or not though his dance movies are never in doubt when he gets a chance to throw himself around in a bizarre dance sequence in a bid to keep his boss Frank entertained in a way that can only have been inspired by his X-Factor / Simon Cowell days. But whilst the revealing twist of Don’t Worry Darling might stretch credibility the film confirms that Olivia Smart continues to be an exciting directing talent.
Watch the Don’t Worry Darling trailer HERE