Don’t Worry Darling Explained: What’s Up With the Ending?

Don’t Worry Darling the essence of the film and the scriptwriters’ mistakes. Don’t Worry Darling the meaning of the ending, the plot summary, the essence of the film

Country: USA

Genre: Thriller, Drama, Fantasy

Year of production: 2022

Director: Olivia Wilde

Cast: Florence Pugh, Harry Styles, Olivia Wilde, Chris Pine, Kiki Lane

tagline: “Welcome to victory”

The plot and the meaning of the ending of the film “Don’t Worry, Darling” (“Don’t Worry, Darling”) seemed secondary to many viewers. And indeed, the creators managed to shoot a high-quality picture, but they failed to achieve originality. The highly publicized plot twist at the end was pretty predictable, especially for sci-fi fans. At the same time, the authors decided not to answer a number of questions that inevitably arise during the viewing.

What is the movie about

Don’t Worry, Darling is set in what is described as an ideal American 1950s glossy magazine town. The main character Alice lives with her husband Jack, enjoying prosperity and luxury. In addition to them, in this place there are, it seems, exclusively married couples, with or without children. Every day, Jack, along with the rest of the men, leaves for work in a secret bunker, while Alice and other women stay at home. They clean, cook, go shopping and dance classes.

Harry Styles, Florence PughActors Harry Styles and Florence Pugh played the lead roles of Alice and Jack. Frame from the film.

Women know almost nothing about the meaning of their husbands’ work. The only thing they know is the name of the secret project (“Victory”). However, most try not to delve into it. Actually, there are two rules that must be observed in the town: do not ask unnecessary questions and do not go beyond the boundaries of the settlement into the desert. It is believed that if you violate the latter, you can expose your life to unprecedented danger.

Previously, Alice and her friends talked with another girl named Margaret. However, the latter developed mental disorders. One day she took her son into the desert, where he died. But Margaret herself is sure that the boy was taken away from her as punishment for her curiosity.

One day, everyone goes to a party hosted by the head of the project “Victory” Frank and his wife Shelley. Margaret also appears at the celebration, who says: “We don’t belong here.” No one but Alice paid any attention to this. She saw how Margaret’s husband took her to a back room and tried to give her medicine. Alice is excited and tries to tell Jack about it, but her husband won’t let her speak.

While preparing dinner, the heroine suddenly notices that the chicken eggs are empty inside. Anxiety intensifies. Then she goes to the city and, in order to unwind, sit down on a bus plying on it. In it, the girl saw a plane crash in the mountains. The driver doesn’t notice anything and refuses to escort Alice to the crash site to see if anyone needs help. Having entered the forbidden territory, the heroine climbs the mountain and sees a certain dome there. Touching its transparent walls, she is subjected to strange hallucinations.

empty chicken eggsFrame from the film.

Alice’s consciousness turns off, after which she wakes up in her house and finds her husband fussing over cooking in the kitchen. In response to questions, Jack says that the girl was already in the house at the time of his arrival and he did not notice anything strange.

Hallucinations and paranoid thoughts gradually begin to consume Alice’s consciousness. One day, at a dance class, she sees Margaret in the reflection, who is smashing her head against the mirror. Excited, Alice goes to her ex-girlfriend’s house and sees her standing on the roof. Margaret cuts her own throat and falls. A shocked Alice is led away by men in red suits. At home, the girl again tries to talk to her husband, but he does not believe her words and claims that there was no suicide. According to him, Margaret was washing windows and stumbled.

Frank’s partner Doctor Collins confirms Jack’s story. He recommends that Alice take sedatives. During a conversation with him, the girl sees a folder in his bag with the inscription “Security Threat” and the name Margaret. The heroine quietly steals the documents, but it is impossible to understand their content: most of the words are covered with black stripes.

At another Project Victory party, Frank solemnly announces to Jack that he has been promoted. Alice has a panic attack. She goes to the ladies’ room, where her friend Bunny comes in. She asks Alice what is happening to her. When the heroine talks about what she saw outside the city, Bunny in response asks to put stupid thoughts out of her head.

A few days later, the heroine invites her neighbors to dinner. While Jack was talking to the guests, Frank came to Alice’s kitchen and made it clear that he knew about her conversation with Bunny. Moreover, he hints that the girl’s guesses about the falsity of this place are true.

Victory project partyFrame from the film.

At the common table, Alice sets out in front of everyone the obvious defects of the surrounding world. It turns out that all the residents came from the same places, they also spend their holidays in the same places. Even the dating history of all spouses coincides down to the smallest details. But the guests do not try to give any explanation for this, preferring to ignore the girl’s words.

When everyone goes home, Alice again tries to talk to her husband. She asks Jack to leave this place with her. He pretends to agree. But, getting into the car, the girl is attacked by people in red clothes. They take her away. Jack, on the other hand, screams desperately, without trying, however, to stop the attackers – it seems that he initiated this.

Dr. Collins, along with other doctors, subjects Alice to electroshock therapy. In between torments, the girl sees her former life, in which she was also a doctor and worked for days in the operating room. Alice went home tired, where she was met by an unemployed Jack, unsuccessfully trying to draw his wife’s attention to himself.

Alice returns to the memory-wiped town. However, hallucinations begin to torment her again. In addition, after a while, Alice still remembers who she used to be and realizes that “Victory” is a simulation world that Frank created. It turns out that Jack knew everything, and it was he who imprisoned his wife in an illusory space. Under the terms of the deal with the project manager, the husbands take responsibility for their wives and immerse them in a simulation. In the real world, women’s bodies are in a kind of coma thanks to unusual lenses. The couple takes care of them. In addition, men are required to work for the Pobeda company, which is a payment for services.

Jack tries to convince Alice that he did everything for her own good and tries to keep her. But she breaks a glass on his head, after which the man falls dead. Frank receives a signal that Jack is dead and sends men in red uniforms to capture the heroine. An alarm sounds outside.

Bunny enters Alice’s house and asks the heroine to run away. Turns out the friend knows about the simulation. She voluntarily remains in the illusory world in order to be able to see the children who died in real life. Bunny explains that the death in the simulation implies a real death, so Alice should get out of here as soon as possible.

escape from the projectFrame from the film.

The heroine goes out into the street in a bloody dress. Looking at her, men begin to worry, and their wives begin to guess about the real state of things. So, Shelley, realizing that the time has come for a change, kills Frank, intending to take his place.

At the end, Alice gets into Jack’s car and, leaving the chase, gets to the dome on top of the mountain. Before taking the last step, she sees in her imagination Jack, who asks her to stay. But the heroine does not want to live in the illusion anymore, so she touches the transparent wall of the dome and exits the simulation.

The meaning of the film

So, the essence of the film “Don’t Worry, Darling” is quite simple: the heroine is freed from the “golden cage” in which her husband imprisoned her, setting an example for other women. Such an idea is quite in the spirit of the growing feminism. And it’s done pretty well.

The shown illusory world really embodies the vision of the role of a woman in the patriarchal world: her task there is to take care of her husband and do everything to make him happy. As a reward – the world of luxury, meetings with friends and other simple entertainment. At the same time, the true desires of the woman herself are completely ignored. Freed from captivity, the heroine confirms her right to choose the life she wants to live, including a career (remember that Alice worked as a surgeon in the past).

“Don’t Worry, Darling” also perfectly shows how, under the guise of love, men can take revenge on women. After all, Jack actually just compensated for his deplorable situation in the real world, in fact, by exchanging places with his wife in the illusory world. In the simulation, he created the appearance of success, only to amuse his ego, to subjugate his spouse to himself, making her his property.

If you try to look deeper and find some hidden meaning, you can do interpretations of individual designations and symbols of the film. For example, in the name of the project “Victory” you can see the assertion by men of their dominant position in relation to women. And, for example, a crashed plane (and Margaret’s child’s red toy airplane) can be interpreted as a symbol of a forgotten dream or one’s own desires.

However, the authors of “Don’t Worry, Darling” still didn’t scatter metaphors and allusions: the events shown are quite straightforward, everything else serves, rather, to maintain the atmosphere, the right mood. So a detailed analysis of the details is unlikely to be appropriate.

The disclosure of the obvious (and generally rather superficial) meaning of the painting “Don’t worry, dear”, which can be characterized by the phrases “You won’t be forced to be nice” and “A woman has the right to her life”, however, does not allow answering many questions that have arisen regarding the described peace. For example:

  • How did Jack manage to “pull” Alice so easily from the real world, where she occupied an important place? After all, it is clear that in the real world women are not powerless at all. Did no one notice the disappearance of the girl?
  • How exactly does the simulation work? Why did her defects manifest themselves in this way and not otherwise? For example, what kind of hallucinations in the form of black and white dancers? Or why do earthquakes happen?
  • Why did the authors focus on the sedatives offered by Alice and Margaret? What’s the point of them if you can administer drugs in the real world?
  • What exactly is the work of Jack and other men in the real world? But the heroines are asked this question throughout the whole picture and in the end they never get an answer to it.
  • Why is Alice so quick to remember the real state of things, if she was recently subjected to severe shock therapy, precisely to erase her memory?
  • Why is it so easy to exit the simulation (leave the city and go to the dome), and it is not protected in any way?

Alas, the authors of Don’t Worry Darling probably don’t know the answers either. Most likely, all these are just plot holes that everyone can try to fill on their own.

Florence PughFlorence Pugh as Alice. Frame from the film.

Ending explanation

The meaning of the ending of the film “Don’t worry, dear” is not out of the general meaning of the picture, which is expressed in the gradual liberation of women from the yoke of men. However, the authors tried not to exaggerate: for example, Jack, who turned out to be an antagonist, is shown almost as a victim of his love.

Frank was probably supposed to be the real villain. But his character, alas, is not developed properly. Interestingly, in the original script, everything was somewhat different, including the explanation of the ending.

There, Jack is a real anti-hero and a sexist. He could not bear that his wife fell out of love with him, besides, she was much more successful than him. In the final version, all this is implied, but shown only with strokes.

cleaning the bathroomFrame from the film.

Similar films

  • The Stepford Wives (USA, 1975): one of the adaptations of Ira Levin’s book about women living in a world ideal for men;
  • “Pleasantville” (USA, 1998): brother and sister go to an American town with the style of the fifties from a television show and change the lives of its inhabitants;
  • Vanilla Sky” (USA, Spain, 2001): the hero of Tom Cruise gets into a car accident and strange visions begin to torment him;
  • Get Out” (USA, Japan, 2016): a satirical horror film that has managed to become a cult film;
  • Vivarium” (Ireland, Denmark, Belgium, 2019): a guy and a girl find themselves captives of the glossy world and, in order to gain freedom, they must raise a child thrown by them.

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