Venice Film Festival hosted the world premiere of Don’t Worry Darling overnight to a media and fan frenzy. The audience screamed as Chris Pine captured photos of Florence Pugh and all eyes were on the not-so subtle tension of Olivia Wilde from the red carpet. Since the embargo has lifted, we’ve finally received expert reactions to the highly-anticipated thriller and after all the internet commentary surrounding the film (read: Shia LaBeouf) the film can finally speak for itself. Or can it?
Variety was quick to share the thoughts of critic Owen Gleiberman, who had opened to discuss the problems of Don’t Worry Darling, both on and off-screen. The writer noted that the best scenes of the film are early on, “but even there it’s hard not to notice the top-heaviness”. It wasn’t a career-defining role for Styles either, according to Gleiberman, “but if he wants to he could have a real run in [film].”
Other publications were not so kind to the film. IndieWire gave the film just two out of five stars for the “transparently designed cinematic nightmare” and “baffling storytelling”. It wasn’t all bad with the author Kate Erbland praising Pugh’s performance as her best yet, “stunning craft work” and “wonderfully immersive quality”. “Too bad about the rest of it,” she writes.
The Guardian also awarded the film just two stars dubbing Don’t Worry Darling a “cause for concern”. Peter Bradshaw discussed “plot-holes” and an “unconvincing dystopian tale” which “superciliously pinches ideas from other films”. Luckily and like his fellow journalists, Bradshaw is not ready to dismiss the acting career of Styles either.
The BBC wrapped up the sentiment of each critic perfectly, writing that the film is “full of half-baked ideas”.
Of course we’re not ready to dismiss the film and you shouldn’t either. Plenty of films that were slammed by the critics have gone to become classics, think Clueless, Star Wars and The Titanic. Now it’s up to the public. Don’t Worry Darling will hit Australian theatres from October 6, 2022.