Don’t Worry Darling Review

The elements of the new cloak-and-dagger movie, “Don’t Worry Darling,” connects the characters in the movie to victims in toxic relationships


Grace Logan

Rating: 5/5

“Don’t Worry Darling,” a psychological thriller directed by Olivia Wilde, is a cinematic wonder that utilizes symbolism to communicate the experience of victims in emotionally abusive relationships. 

The protagonist, Alice Chambers (Florence Pugh) is living a life of repetition. Each morning the Chambers’ cul-de-sac watch their husbands drive to “work” before simultaneously walking into their homes. Later on, all women practice ballet, unified in both movement and colors of clothing. Wilde utilizes these patterns to strip characters of their individuality.

Wilde also quickly establishes themes of “Us v. Them.” Chambers blindly subscribes to this mentality; she is under the control of her environment. A neighbor of Chambers, known as Margaret (KiKi Layne), begins to question the reality in which these characters find themselves. During her “outbursts,” Margaret’s husband is shown to be abrupt and rough with her at times. She attempts to warn Chambers of the danger they find themselves in, but Chambers reaffirms the prescription of insanity society has placed on Margaret. It is not until her own reality begins to crumble and she becomes the “them” that she values Margaret’s warnings.

Through these scenes, Wilde communicates the power of isolation and how it can be weaponized to establish control. Characters can either conform to the will of those controlling their world or be killed. Chambers believes she is going insane and, similarly to Margaret, people discount her concerns. She is alone in her concerns and is forced to attempt to conform.  

The suffocating weight of her isolation and her entrapment is clearly communicated in two chilling scenes. Chambers is cleaning a window and the glass begins to press her against the wall. Her bones begin to crack before she is abruptly released and her environment resets; her life returns to normal for a period of time. Chambers later covers her head in plastic wrap and attempts to breathe, but is unable. 

Parallels can be drawn between being trapped in a relationship and the false reality Chambers is confined in. At the beginning of the movie, Chambers follows her husband (Harry Styles) in blissful happiness, similar to the honeymoon stage in a relationship. The reality she finds herself in begins to crumble and the perception of her spouse falls alongside it. However, she begins to drift back to her husband, represented by the sudden repair of Chambers’ surroundings following the window scene. In relationships, harmful actions can be easily brushed over if things seem to return to normal. Chambers later begins to push against her oppressors, but is unsuccessful, as those around her offer little support. It is not until she has endured a lengthy amount of physical and emotional torture that she is able to break free. All her experiences culminate into overarching themes of being mentally and physically controlled by a spouse or societal norms.

The movie ends with a black screen and a solitary breath of relief from Chambers. She has escaped her prison of conformity, insanity and isolation. She is no longer controlled by another person.

Don’t Worry Darling is a brilliant film that I wholeheartedly recommend. This film is one of Florence Pugh’s most compelling performances. It is a great watch for not only the blood rush of a thriller movie but also the representation of darker subjects that need to be openly discussed more frequently.