Jthe discourse surrounding the psychological thriller don’t worry darling was more unmissable than Julia Fox in a revealing outfit. Surely you’ve read the flurry of negative reviews highlighting Harry Styles’ acting ability (or lack thereof), or the tabloid gossip about the supposed on-set drama between director Olivia Wilde and star Florence “Miss Flo” Pugh. , or seen the video leaked by “fired” actor Shia LaBeouf, or analyzed the video “SpitGate” like the movie Zapruder. But now that the movie is out, we have to discuss its absurd and logic-defying ending, which bears striking similarities to “USS Callister,” one of the best episodes of Netflix’s sci-fi anthology series. black mirror.
Alice (Pugh) and Jack Chambers (Styles) look like the perfect couple. It’s 1950s Victory, California, a sunny, pastel-hued oasis with palm-lined streets that looks like Palm Springs. While Jack is off to the desert to work on the top-secret “Project Victory” that employs all the townspeople, Alice spends her days shopping and chatting with the other housewives, drinking cocktails by the swimming pool, tidying up the house and marinating meats. they are kind and ready for my husband’s return home. Frank (Chris Pine), the sexy and charismatic founder of the Victory Project, whose employees revere the ground he walks on, rules paradise.
When Alice – who is haunted by visions of creepy ballerinas – sees Margaret (KiKi Layne), one of the housewives, tear herself loose and later slit her throat, then sees a plane mysteriously crash above the mountains of the desert, she begins to question her existence and embarks on a mission to find out what exactly Project Victory is.
What she discovers, unfortunately, doesn’t make much sense.
You see, nowadays Jack is an unemployed, bespectacled loser with patchy facial hair who feels emasculated and neglected by his wife Alice, an ER surgeon dedicated to her vital work. Instead of looking for a job or being grateful to have found a handsome doctor (what she sees in this sad bag is a mystery), Jack spends his days glued to YouTube, consuming videos of Frank, a prominent activist of men’s rights in the Jordan Peterson. mold. The most unintentionally funny moment in the film is Styles’ incel reveal, because really… Harry Styles as an incel?!
Frank doesn’t just preach about a toxicly masculine dreamscape where women are the submissive housewives and men the alpha breadwinners, but has created a virtual simulation – the Victory Project – to which all men in the town signed up, and few of them women (Alice was sedated and hung on; Bunny, another housewife played by Wilde, chose to be transported there in order to find her dead children ).
In this 1950s simulation, no more Jack’s unfortunate facial hair and glasses. He’s turned into a dashing Brit with a confusing accent who still can’t act. He has to leave the simulation for eight hours a day (while at his “work” as a technical engineer for Project Victory) to do unspecified real work to compensate for living his best imaginary life , and it is during his absence that Alice investigates the headquarters of Project Victory and plots her escape.
Which brings us to “USS Callister”. The episode aired in December 2017, serving as Netflix’s fourth season premiere. black mirror. Directed by Toby Haynes (Doctor Who) and written by William Bridges and series creator Charlie Brooker, it tells the story of Robert Daly (Jesse Plemons), a gifted programmer and CTO of Callister Inc., a company he co-founded with James Walton (Jimmi Simpson) which is most famous for open-world multiplayer online gaming Infinitewhich inserts users into a simulation where they control a spacecraft.
Despite his status as co-founder of Callister and chief architect of Infinite, Daly – plump, bald and wearing glasses – is regularly mocked by his colleagues, who see him as a bad guy, and looked down upon by James, who treats him like a low-level employee. As the episode slowly reveals, Daly created a 1960s retro star trek-like simulation based on his favorite TV series, space fleet, where he is the alpha-male captain (Plemons does a wonderful impression of Captain Kirk). He created clones of the real-life colleagues he hates and/or covets, most of whom are women or people of color, by stealing their DNA (this process remains opaque at best) and inserting them into the simulation, forcing them to act like his docile crew – heeding his every command, accepting his deeply unwanted kisses, and generally being digital slaves. Co-workers who refuse his requests are turned into villains or giant, slimy alien insects. He is so vindictive that he even stripped them of their genitals.
When Daly clones a new programmer, Nanette (Cristin Milioti), he takes a liking to her and plugs her into the space fleet simulation, she leads a crew rebellion against Daly, hoping to free them from her slavery.
Both don’t worry darling and “USS Callister” are social commentary from incel culture – the online community of men known as “involuntary celibates” who believe they are unable to find a sexual partner and have left bitterness about it result in misogyny and racism – and toxic masculinity that center an aggrieved incel who partakes in a simulation of an era where the object of their affection has been inserted against their will and forced to pander to the every whim and desire of the man. The woman eventually causes an uprising and exits the simulation, forming and executing her plot during the incel’s downtime. Even the simulation technology looks alike: two small circular discs inserted into the temples that make your eyes roll in your head.
Two years after “USS Callister” aired to near-universal acclaim, eventually winning four Emmy Awards, including Outstanding TV Movie and Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special, the initial script for what would become don’t worry darling, written by Dick Van Dyke’s grandsons Carey and Shane Van Dyke, landed on the 2019 Blacklist of Best Unproduced Screenplays. When Wilde embarked on the project, she brought in writer Katie Silberman, who had previously collaborated with her on Libraryto revise the story – in the process drastically alter its ending.