There’s something kind of terrifying about hardcore fan bases. I don’t mean (terrifying) embarrassing, I mean (terrifying) scary-because-you-have-to-be-careful-what-you-say-otherwise-fans-will-come-for-you kind of way. The Harry Styles fanbase is something I used to feel strongly a part of, but I felt the atmosphere lacked the ‘treat people with kindness’ slogan they so heavily emphasised. Now, I don’t mean the fans who enjoy his music, would be enthralled to see him in concert, or enjoy listening to news about his personal life, I mean hardcore eat, sleep, breathe, repeat Harry Styles fans. I was stuck in this phase for a large chunk of my growing years. One Direction was all I would think about and consume – I even made a Twitter fan account at the age of eleven just to post about how obsessed I was with each of the members. Therefore, I (kinda) feel like I know how toxic the fan-based environment can get. The environment was a cult of its own where fans would bully anyone who had a conflicting opinion from their own. With the digital age evolving, fan bases are spread across more than just Twitter and now where there is no escaping a keypad warrior who would do anything to defend their beloved idol. This being my own opinion…
A few weeks ago, I decided to attend the movies and watch Don’t Worry Darling – which to my surprise, I enjoyed more than I anticipated (due to the average reviews it received within its initial release). I’ve attended the cinemas with a large fan base in the audience before where fan excitement was led with screaming, swooning, or laughing at every scene their beloved character showed up in. I understand the want to support and express that loudly, but I feel as if (from experience) there is always a character that said fans will express their disinterest obnoxiously too. As Harry fans were eager to see him pop up on screen, I knew that meant that a lot of people weren’t happy to find Olivia Wilde alongside him too.
This being said, I made sure to wait a few weeks after Don’t Worry Darling was released in cinemas to ensure I was met with people with similar mindsets of my own. I definitely had an interest in Harry’s role, but I was enthralled to see how other actors played their parts too.
I was eager to take my seat, popcorn in one hand, Pepsi Max in the other, and was happy to see the cinema lacked an audience, however, this did not necessarily mean a lack of vocal Harry Styles weren’t in attendance. Any time Harry came on the screen, a scream and/or giggle was expressed by this small group. At first, I thought it was cute, but the longer the movie went, the quicker my amusement turned to irritation. Olivia Wilde, the director of Don’t Worry Darling, also happens to be Harry’s real-life lover, and my irritation grew larger when (said) fangirls were booing her every time her face entered the cinema screen. As she was the mastermind behind this creative and enthralling movie (my opinion), I don’t seem to understand why people weren’t excited for her role in the film… I felt as if you couldn’t deny her role in front and behind the camera, as starring in the film and directing those around you would be a difficult task. The need to boo her felt juvenile, and not very ‘treat people with kindness’ of fans.
Don’t Worry 😉 I’ll discuss my movie thoughts now.
I thought Harry excelled in his performance and his growth in acting is something fans should most definitely be proud of. Considering the drama surrounding DWD, I wasn’t sure what to expect. But once my eyes were on the big screen, I completely lost any thoughts relating to the sticky nonsense that surrounded the cast and movie. As someone who watched his debut on the TV screen, he has definitely grown from that one episode of iCarly…
The concept behind the movie was something I’d never seen before. I ensured not to read or watch any spoilers before attending the cinema to have zero understanding of the storyline. I had obviously read in the media about the problematic feuds and external life crises of certain cast members that occurred during the films initial release, but the controversy (probably) led me to want to watch the movie more.
The videography/photography of this movie is something so surreal. Every scene captured a shot of something spectacular. As this movie is based during the 1950’s, I felt like I was living in that era due to the cinematography.
Florence Pugh is already a phenomenal performer but seeing her excel as Alice in Don’t Worry Darling made me believe she was truly out of this world. She played the role of a curious wife well, and with each scene she portrayed a new emotion. I was captivated by her role and felt as if I was living the whirlwind of these emotions alongside her.
The music led audiences with anticipation. Whether my heart was thumping alongside the bass that foreshadowed a scene, or the cheery 50’s music that had me swinging side to side, I loved how the music played such an important role to tell the tale of DWD.
The finale was something I was not expecting. My first reaction was confusion – “Had the cinema employees accidentally started playing a different movie, I’m confused where we are in the film right now.” But my confusion was then followed by shock. My grip on the cinema seats was so tight where I was nearly falling off my chair in terror. I didn’t mind the ending but did do some research after watching the movie to read other people’s opinions. To my surprise, there was an alternate ending to DWD that fans had wished Olivia had originally led with. I don’t necessarily agree nor disagree with this opinion, as I overall enjoyed what the movie portrayed and had to offer to viewers.
Ultimately, I enjoyed Don’t Worry Darling, and think that the two years of anticipation resulted in fan satisfaction.
If you’re a Harry fan, I encourage you to express support, but remember what that man says himself, in his songs, merch and his own mouth: “Treat people with kindness.” Therefore, make sure to lead your encouragement with that statement in the back of your mind.
Hi, I’m Rachel. I like reading, writing, but no so much arithmetics. I indulge in so much TV and media I thought ‘why not write on it?’