Don’t Worry Darling IMAX: The Experience
This is a different type of review. Don’t Worry Darling IMAX, the live experience took place in over 100 IMAX theatres in North America. Imagine selling out at 21 IMAX locations within 24 hours and less than two weeks before the event. This was quite impressive if you consider the sheer coordination it took to launch this event. The film and experience was brought to you by New Line Cinema and Warner Bros Discovery. Whilst the press touted this event as a live Q&A, the actual duration was about 15 minutes, with only two audience questions that preceded the film.
One of the reasons you definitely want to see a film with an audience is the reaction. We attended plenty of film festivals and markets, including Venice. Red carpets are fun, but the reactions from theatre goers are priceless. During the Q&A, for instance, Harry Styles response to what drew him to the film was a hoot. “Mood boards.” Indeed, the uni girls favourite cast member got huge uproarious giggles. Matter of fact, It must have been “uni night” at all the IMAX theatres where GB Media staff were present.
Don’t Worry Darling IMAX: The Access
As part of the Gabrielle Bourne (GB) Media family, none of our staff members pay to attend screenings and premiers. This IMAX experience, however, came courtesy of American Express for Centurion (black card) and Platinum card holders. Each account allowed four staff members to attend the events, including the cast screening at NYC. Our collaborative history with American Express has allowed access to many interesting experiences, but we are also thankful to Warner Bros. Discovery for creating these IMAX events. Here is how our clients and associates can gain access.
With this stated, we don’t believe that IMAX will give you anything unique when viewing this film. We will explain further.
The Spoiler Alert
During the Q&A, director Olivia Wilde claimed
The film was engineered from the beginning for this kind of experience. It should feel really visceral, it should feel like you’re inside. You should absolutely experience the sound design on another level. It’s the way we dreamed you would experience it.
Yet, most of us didn’t. Unlike Don’t Worry Darling, films like Everest (1998) or even Top Gun: Maverick (2022) were exceptional candidates for the IMAX experience. The aerial G-force alone was enough to “lose your lunch”. Comparatively, Wilde stated that this film was inspired by “The Truman Show” and “The Stepford Wives”. As far as our experience goes, we thought the film was similar to “Surrogates”, as well.
Let’s first address the elephant in the room. Harry Styles (Jack Chambers) does have a British accent in the film, but Florence Pugh (Alice Chambers) does not. Not only is Styles British in real life, so is his character inside the fantasy world called Victory. Many of us Expats have developed a “Continental”, “Trans-Atlantic”, “Mid-Atlantic” or muted accent, that might sound strange, but we can assure you Styles is not a Brit trying to play American. The film reveals this bit of character development, when we discover the truth about Victory and its residents. Here is the spoiler, Victory doesn’t exist. This ends up being a big reveal, as the film reaches the climax and conclusion.
A Wilde Ride! Don’t Blink
Olivia Wilde was correct. She told the audience, “don’t blink”. If you do, you will miss it. The film is part mystery, but also a well crafted psychological thriller. There is a reason Florence Pugh can carry a film, and why she can captivate an audience. She is brilliant in this role. She takes the audience on a journey to uncover disturbing truths about Victory. For instance, why do all the couples in Victory have identical stories of how they met? Olivia Wilde, who is also in the film, appears to be the only female character in Victory, who knows the truth. But how and why? Unfortunately, we never find out.
The Through line
Personal choice and control are at the heart of the film. As we learn, personal choice was removed from the equation for the wives. The only exception, of course, is that of Olivia Wilde’s character (Bunny), as we find out near the end. The circa is 1950s, albeit some of the clothing choices, hairstyles and automobiles could be circa 1960s. This era was deliberately set for Victory because of what it represented and the dynamics between the male and female roles of the time. We discover that Victory is a male dominated society, built and created by men for the ideal man. The ideal woman was a dutiful wife, who kept house, cooked and pleased her man.
If you enjoy psychological thrillers, with mystery and a twist, this film is for you. Whilst the film starts out strong and keeps you engaged, the ending was a bit of a let down. Ok, here comes another spoiler. So after wrecking her car and finally making it up the mountain, whilst being chased by men in red janitorial suits, the Protagonist, Alice Chambers touches the dark glass of this building structure, and the film fades out with her *SIGH*. Is it a deep breath, such as a release…or was she gasping for air as she wakes up? We don’t know because the film just ends.
Whilst not enough material, we don’t think, for a sequel, the film’s ending tells the audience to draw your own conclusions.
Don’t Worry Darling will have a wider release in theatres on 23rd September. Whilst there has been a lot of cast ‘drama’, both Florence Pugh and Chris Pines (Frank) put up a united front when they explained their absence from the IMAX NYC cast screening. Why else would Uber celebrities miss a cast event? They were in production on other projects of course!