Don't Worry Darling
directed by Olivia Wilde, USA 2022, 123'
Directed by Olivia Wilde, the psychological thriller Don't Worry Darling is one of the most talked-about films of this year’s Venice Film Festival, primarily due to the unusual accumulation of controversy surrounding its production. The alleged scandals and conflicts between the members of the crew have fed the yellow press, obscuring the value of the production itself for many viewers. Yet under the guise of genre clichés, Wilde’s film hides a bold self-ironic commentary on pop culture, becoming an intriguingly unobvious reflection on the consequences of social change in the modern world.
Alice (played by the phenomenal Florence Pugh) and Jack (Harry Styles) are lucky to belong to the unusual community called Victory, an experimental town for the employees of the top-secret Victory Project and their families. The social optimism of the 1950s, epitomised by the boss, Frank (Chris Pine) – a corporate visionary and motivational coach – penetrates every aspect of daily life in this integrated desert utopia. Here, men spend their days at Victory Project’s headquarters, working to upgrade high-tech materials, while their wives make sure to welcome them to a clean flat, a warm meal and the soothing company of a beloved woman after work. However, the surface of this idyllic life gradually starts cracking, and glimpses of something terrible emerge from beneath the pretty facade. Alice feels compelled to find out what Victory’s employees are up to and why. How much can she sacrifice to uncover what is really going on in this paradise, and what consequences will she have to face?