In this section of the Colossus Movie Guide for Don’t Worry Darling, we answer questions you have about the movie. If you’re curious about plot explanations, meanings, themes, lessons, motifs, symbols, or just confused by something, ask and we’ll do our best to answer.
- Alice – Florence Pugh
- Jack – Harry Styles
- Frank – Chris Pine
- Bunny – Olivia Wilde
- Margaret – KiKi Layne
- Shelley – Gemma Chan
- Dean – Nick Kroll
- Sydney Chandler – Violet
- Peg – Kate Berlant
- Asif Ali – Peter
- Writer – Katie Silberman
- Director – Olivia Wilde
Don’t Worry Darling | Questions and Answers
What is the mirror in the desert?
There is a simple plot answer to this question. And then there’s a more complex answer regarding the mirror’s symbolism.
The simple plot answer is that the mirror serves as the gateway between the real world and the simulated Victory world. By touching the mirror, you regain control of your body, senses, and surroundings and return to your old life. When Alice touches the mirror, it glows red—it’s been activated. So at the end of the movie, we can assume that she’s transported back to reality.
The symbolic answer requires us to survey the film’s motifs and themes. Mirrors are easily the most common motif throughout the film, making this final scene with the mirror in the desert the climax of the motif. In Don’t Worry Darling, mirrors represent who you’d like to become. In Victory, the woman that Alice sees in the mirror isn’t actually her—it’s a manufactured image. So Alice’s journey throughout the film is to identify why she’s so dissatisfied with her life and fight for change (each of these are major themes in the film). By touching the mirror, she takes that giant step forward.
The ending is detailed further in the Ending Explained section of the movie guide.
Why do the women dance?
Dance class is an important part of Victory’s brainwashing process. In the brainwashing scenes, you can see women smiling as they dance in unison. In the Victory environment, Alice and her friends are dancing the same routine as Shelley preaches symmetry and unity. We can assume that these dance classes reinforce the language imposed by the brainwashing sequences, further cementing these women in the Victory attitude.
How does Alice end up back in Victory after touching the mirror?
We can assume that by touching the mirror, you are transported back to reality. And since Jack leaves the simulation each day to do work for Victory in the real world, he would have caught Alice after she woke up from the simulation the first time she touched the mirror. He likely went through the whole same brainwashing process to reset the simulation.
That’s what makes the ending so momentous. The second time Alice touches the mirror, Jack is dead. Which means she’ll wake up in the real world free from his stranglehold.
Why does Alice have visions of her past, but others don’t?
Because Alice touched the mirror. It’s the same deal with Margaret, who went into the desert with her son. We can assume that each of them returned to the real world, only for their husbands to capture them and transport them back to Victory. The other women seem generally confused by Victory, but don’t question anything. But once you’ve gone back to the real world and then back again to Victory (like Alice and Margaret did), you are affected differently.
Why does Shelley stab Frank?
This is probably the most perplexing question of the film. Simply put, we don’t have enough information about Shelley to have a clear answer. But we can theorize.
Remember how Shelley is introduced. When she walks into the studio to teach dance class, she’s given a very intimidating welcome. All the women stop talking and stare at her as she slowly walks to the front of the room. She is revered by the women, who listen to her attentively as she says things like, “There is beauty in symmetry,” and, “We move as one.”
These are also the kinds of phrases that Frank says throughout the film. Frank is positioned as the leader of Victory, which would make Shelley his underling. But what if it’s the other way around? What if Shelley set up the Victory simulation? What if these phrases are hers, and Frank is simply the hired face that repeats them?
The other likely explanation is that Shelley believed in Frank’s cause, but didn’t feel Frank was up to leading the Victory team. After Shelley stabs Frank, she says, “You stupid, stupid man. It’s my turn now.” So perhaps Shelley is a partner? Or she always wanted control of the company? Again, we don’t know enough of the backstory.
What question do you have?
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