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  • Jeff Beck

Don't Worry Darling: A Mystery Not Worth Exploring (Blu-ray)


The Film:


"Don't Worry Darling" is one of those films that was covered in controversy well before it even came out. From the supposed firing of one of its stars to reports of on-set fighting to subsequent denials of unprofessional behavior, the production seemed to be bogged down with unfortunate issues, and yet despite all of this, the film got finished, with the marketing making it look like it could be a rather intriguing mystery. But could it possibly be nearly as interesting as everything that went on behind the scenes?


The film centers on Alice (Florence Pugh) and Jack Chambers (Harry Styles), who live in the idyllic, old-fashioned town of Victory, where the men do secretive work at a headquarters in the desert and the women stay at home as devoted housewives. One day, Alice witnesses a plane crash, which takes her out into the desert and has her stumbling upon headquarters. After touching one of its windows, she begins to experience hallucinations and wakes up back at home. She continues to experience further strange occurrences over the next few days, including receiving a phone call from a social outcast and subsequently seeing her slit her throat. Jack simply dismisses her claims, as does the town's doctor, but she remains certain that something is not quite right in the town of Victory, with its mysterious leader (Chris Pine) likely having something to do with it.


From the very start, "Don't Worry Darling" is going to remind many of other similar films that use the same setup of a seemingly-perfect community and residents, with something more sinister boiling below the surface, but while it's hardly an original idea, the true measure of its success would basically depend upon the quality of the mystery it presents and eventually unveils. Unfortunately for director Olivia Wilde and screenwriter Katie Silberman, that's exactly where the film comes up rather short.


The mystery is mildly interesting on the outset, but sadly what we end up with is one of those films that feels the need to hammer you over the head over and over with the idea that something strange is going on, but also not wanting to develop that idea very far, at least until the inevitable explanation in the final act of the film. This results in a two-hour outing that merely bides its time until the finale where it finally reveals its disappointing explanation, one that has a number of holes in it and one which most of the audience will have been able to figure out to some degree in the first few minutes of the film.


As far as its more positive elements go, the production and costume design are top-notch, and Florence Pugh and Harry Styles give fine performances, but they're all ultimately done a great disservice by the weak script, which simply doesn't have much to offer in the way of engaging material. The filmmakers should've taken a little more time to make absolutely sure that the mystery they were bringing to the screen was worth exploring and revealing, for when it's not, it can't really come as a surprise to anyone that the final product would turn out like this.


Video/Audio:


"Don't Worry Darling" comes to Blu-ray in a 2.39:1, 1080p High Definition transfer of very good quality. There is a very slight grainy look to the image, but for the most part, it looks fantastic and clear. The Dolby Atmos-TrueHD audio track is excellent, giving you all of the dialogue and music in outstanding quality. Overall, while the picture could've used just a little more sharpening, the treatment the film has received for its home release still receives pretty high marks.


Special Features:


The Making of Don't Worry Darling (17 Minutes): An interesting look behind the scenes of the film, featuring several interviews with the cast and crew.


Deleted Scene - Alice's Nightmare (1 Minute)


Conclusion:


Olivia Wilde's "Don't Worry Darling" is a pretty film to look at, and has a partly intriguing mystery on its outset, but it ultimately succumbs to a lack of development and a predictable, half-baked ending that just isn't worth the two-hour wait to get there.


Score: 2.5/5


Available on Blu-ray/DVD starting tomorrow.


Follow me on Twitter @BeckFilmCritic.



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