Fascinating movie

Movie Review – The Echo

don’t worry darling is a film that has been marred by controversy surrounding the making of and its press, whether it’s the release of Shia LeBeouf’s film, director Olivia Wilde’s new relationship with actor Harry Styles, from Florence Pugh’s refusal to promote the film, and possibly even Styles spitting on Chris Pine at the film’s premiere. It’s a lot to take in, just like the movie itself.

Set in a town called Victory, very styled to look like the late 1950s, Alice (Pugh) and Jack (Styles) are married and very much in love. Jack goes to his secret job with his friends (Nick Kroll and Asif Ali), while Alice stays home, cleans the house and hangs out with her own friends (Wilde and Kate Berlant). However, when all seems right and well, Alice begins to feel that things are not what they seem, especially after mysterious events begin to happen to another friend, the exiled Margaret (Kiki Layne).

It’s one of those movies that relies on a big twist, and as such my plot summary will end there, and I’ll be very careful not to spoil it in case those reading don’t. would not have seen. What I can say is that it is certainly an ambitious film, both from a technical and a narrative point of view. He has a lot on his mind and he does it all in an incredibly flashy way. Wilde is an incredibly confident filmmaker, with lots of dynamic camerawork (enhanced by Matthew Libatique’s excellent cinematography), and manages to shoot every scene with clear intent. From a technical standpoint, this movie is flawless, and I think the movie could end up earning Oscar nominations for Costume Design and Production Design, both of which are great.

But the film’s biggest flaw is the writing. The dialogue itself is good, as well as the twist on paper. However, it was done in a surprisingly sloppy way, with the writers seeming to have preferred the plot of what was happening, then forgotten about it, throwing it out at the last possible second. It’s frustrating to watch, because it could have been really great, but it ends up falling short.

What ended up saving the movie from being a beautiful but mediocre one was a lot of the acting, the main one being Pugh’s performance. Pugh is a world-class actress and she elevates this material to incredibly observable heights. It’s a shame things turned out on set the way they did, because she could very well have been considered for the Oscar, even though the movie didn’t get the best reviews from most. The film’s other star is Pine, who has a great time playing against type as the founding cult leader of Victory. It’s so interesting to see her movie star charisma and good looks turn into something rotten. The rest of the cast do a generally excellent job in their given roles, but the film’s weakest performance is Styles. It’s not that he’s bad; he’s pretty good in his role, if a bit out of his element when playing alongside Florence Pugh. However, there are a few moments towards the end of the movie where he really goes for it and it just doesn’t work. These scenes mostly made me wonder what it would have been like if Shia LaBeouf had played this role (probably better, but who am I to guess).

don’t worry darling Could have been great, but it’s just good. It’s an incredibly well-crafted movie with strong performances from Pugh and Pine, but the writing and styles ended up dragging this movie from something it could have been. Don’t worry (pun intended), I would still recommend people watch it, but keep your expectations in check.