The psychological thriller Don’t Worry Darling, directed by Olivia Wilde, premiered last Friday amid wild behind-the-scenes rumors and rumored feuds between cast members. However, critics believe that the film fails to captivate as much as its off-screen stories: it presently has a 38% approval rating on RottenTomatoes. The plot revolves around Alice (Florence Pugh), a housewife who appears to live in a beautiful world with her perfect husband Jack (Harry Styles), but all changes when she notices something is amiss in her quiet neighborhood.
Critics believe that Don’t Worry Darling spends far too much time unraveling the riddles of the Victory Project, only to deliver hasty solutions and a cliffhanger finale that undermines the film’s critique. But it wasn’t always like this. It’s usual for scripts to change as a film’s production progresses, but as Insider uncovers, Don’t Worry Darling cut several original ending moments that would have made the tale much clearer.
In the film, Alice is subjected to shock therapy after asking too many questions, and we find that she is living in a Matrix-type scenario in which modern-day males trap their women in order to create a perfect existence for themselves, whether the wives want it or not. The notion is that these guys believe society has advanced too far, and males are unhappy because women are no longer obsessed with being the perfect wife – in the real world, Alice was once a doctor, and Jack was an American, not a Brit, who was unemployed.
The disclosure also occurs midway through the film, rather than towards the end. One day, Evelyn follows Clifford to his ‘job’ and observes him enter an empty property with an “Alt-Life Realty” sign outside. As she tries to figure out what’s going on, she comes upon a computer screen with Dr. Anderson’s (this film’s version of Frank) welcome message to Clifford, referring to Alt-Life as “a society of men, by men, and for men”:
“You’re probably the same as I was many years ago. I’m sick of living in a world ruled by women. Tired of them out-earning you at work? Yearning for a return to simpler times, when a woman’s place was limited to the kitchen.”
Evelyn and Clifford were divorced by 2050, but Clifford couldn’t take it or his wife’s prosperity. So he joined Alt-Life, and all he had to do was pretend Evelyn died, drug her, and connect her to the machine. Simple.
Following these insights, Evelyn eagerly returns to Alt-Life as she hears about Clifford’s return to the real world. Then, as we see in the film, Clifford grows suspicious that Evelyn is telling the truth and attempts to have Alt-doctors Life erase her memories.
This fails, but unfortunately for Evelyn, the “exit point,” which was the empty house, has been relocated. She ends up torturing Clifford, threatening to sodomize him with a broomstick if he doesn’t tell her where the new escape point is (yes, really). He shows her where it is, but she still sticks the broom up there. Despite killing Clifford, Evelyn continues to bleed and passes out. She awakens in Alt-Life, and Dr. Anderson attempts to dupe her into believing she murdered her spouse due to illusions about living in a simulation.
Evelyn goes along with it… until she bites Dr. Anderson’s cheek. She’s sedated and taken to a psychiatric facility, where Betsy pays her a visit. Betsy now believes Evelyn and gives her a parting present telling her that there is an exit gateway in the hospital courtyard. As the movie closes, Evelyn sneaks away from the orderlies and exits via the door. It’s unclear how Betsy became aware of the exit gateway, or why Alt-Life decided it’d be a good idea to place it near Evelyn. Unlike in the film, Evelyn clearly escapes into the actual world and is able to rescue herself from Alt-Life.