Olivia Wilde's second directorial effort Don't Worry Darling is being billed as a psychological thriller, but what we get is a good looking set of camera friendly faces, an out-of-this-world setting and a landscape that looks picture perfect. Overall, it is rather thin on depth.
While the Young Adult audience crazy over One Direction and everything else to do with the band, might get a little carried away by the likes of Harry Styles in the cast, the experience of the drama thereof is less than thrilling.
The script by Katie Silberman, Carey Van Dyke and Shane Van Dyke fails to make the rather sterile setup, worthy. It's, in fact, an arid commentary on patriarchy disguised as domestic enchantment.
About a mysterious Victory project community living away from the madding crowd in a planned unique Palm Springs community in the mid-1950s, this film features Styles as an eager and visibly loving young company man Jack Chambers whose wife Alice (Florence Pugh) suddenly begins to see visions of a past life which she was forcibly engineered to forget.
Chris Pine is the controlling company Boss Frank, who shows his true self when his employees' wives start to show some dissidence to the order he dictates. Gemma Chan plays his glamorous wife, Shelley, while Wilde herself plays Alice's next-door neighbour and best friend, Bunny.
While this filmed experience may not be thrilling, there's enough fodder here to keep you visually entertained. Wilde's helming takes us through a facile experience with a concentration on craft rather than character or complexity of the plot.
The script and treatment try hard to channel The Stepford Wives, Mad Men, Matrix, Inception, and other more appealing, better-rated movies.
Most of the performances in Don't Worry Darling are rather showy - save for Pugh who makes Alice compelling and Pine who takes villainy to a suave new level.
Matthew Libatique' s picture-perfect cinematography, Katie Byron's unblemished production design and Arianne Phillips' exquisite costuming make this experience far more visual than psychological.
It's a plot-driven exposé of a creepy retro cult community, but despite the dynamics, the experience feels rather flat and uninvolving as a film.