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Pre-Release Drama for “Don’t Worry Darling” Attracts Viewers

Pre-Release Drama for Dont Worry Darling Attracts Viewers

WARNING: This review contains spoilers for the film “Don’t Worry Darling.”

After a drama-filled few months for the cast of “Don’t Worry Darling,” the movie has finally hit the big screens and has outperformed its early reviews at the box office. Despite some negative reviews, the release of the film has led to $19.2 million in revenue revealing that sometimes all press is good press.

Director Olivia Wilde takes on a suburban thriller in the new film, starring Florence Pugh as Alice and Harry Styles as Jack. The film has a fifties-inspired aesthetic as it focuses on Alice and the women’s life at home in their development, while Jack and the other men head off to work at the “Victory Project.”

The movie is a psychological thriller. Alice slowly learns through hallucinations and memory lapses, that her husband Jack, has trapped her in an AI simulation where males have dominance over females. In her life prior to the simulation, Alice was a surgeon and Jack was unemployed. This helplessness persuaded Jack to trap her in the simulation where he is the provider. 

Despite the thrilling scenes, it got fairly negative pre-release reviews partly because of the unanswered questions it left up for the viewers’ interpretation. These reviews did not stop people from seeing the movie, as the drama during the press peaked people’s interest. 

Rachel Martin ’24 saw the movie strictly because of all of the pre-film drama.

“I didn’t really mind that it had bad reviews, I just wanted to see the movie that has stirred so much controversy over the past few months,” said Martin. “After Florence and Olivia’s fight and the mess of the Venice Film Festival, I needed to see the outcome of all the drama on set.” 

Martin is referring to the leaked video of Wilde talking to former male lead, Shia LaBeouf. In this clip, Wilde asks LaBeouf if he and Pugh could work out their differences and work together on set. Wilde refers to Pugh as “Miss Flo” in the video, which viewers took as condescending.  

The drama did not stop after the video leak, as the cast arrived at the Venice Film Festival. The strategic press surrounding the film avoided talking about any of the drama and never placed Wilde and Pugh next to each other for photos. This move is also partially due to the romantic relationship between Styles and Wilde that began while creating the film. 

During the film festival, a video went viral where Styles is accused of spitting on Chris Pine, another actor in the film. Both Pine and Styles’ teams have denied this, choosing instead to conclude the drama with some jokes about Styles spitting on his castmate. 

The rumors may have drawn viewers to the theaters, but the eerie plot kept their attention on the big screen. 

“I was at the edge of my seat the whole film,” said Olivia Lybarger ’24. “It scared me by how real the film felt, as AI has become increasingly real in the past years.” 

The psychological thriller leaves the viewer questioning what is real in their own life, after going through the revelation that nothing was real for the main character Alice. 

Featured Image Courtesy of Meaghan Parsons

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Pre-Release Drama for “Don’t Worry Darling” Attracts Viewers