Now that we’ve all had a chance to finally watch the film, some of us have questions, some of us think Florence Pugh deserves an apology, and some of us (me) are completely floored by the twist ending, which finally explains the hallucinations and turmoil Alice — Florence Pugh’s character — experiences throughout the story.
Now, I’m about to reveal a massive spoiler (like, probably the BIGGEST spoiler in the entire plot), so if you haven’t seen it yet/don’t want to know, STOP SCROLLING AND LEAVE THIS POST IMMEDIATELY.
Last chance. Stop scrolling now or forever hold your peace!!!
Okay, here it is: Toward the end of the film, it’s revealed that Victory isn’t a real town in the 1950s–’60s, but actually a virtual simulation created by Frank (Chris Pine), the town’s cult-like leader. Even wilder, the Victory Project isn’t a company all the husbands in Victory work for. Rather, it’s the simulation initiative they all pay to be a part of. Alice and all the other wives have been unknowingly trapped in Victory by their husbands, and they’ve had the memories of their real lives in the present day (!!!) erased.
This comes as quite a shock (or, at least it did to me). But if you look closely, there are subtle hints throughout Don’t Worry Darling that clue us into what’s really going on. Here are 14 details that prove not everything in Victory is quite as it seems:
WARNING: Even MORE spoilers ahead!!!
When Alice witnesses the red plane falling through the sky, the plane briefly becomes wavy and distorted, signifying a glitch in the simulation.
In the trolley, right before Alice witnesses the red plane crash, there’s a sign behind her that reads, “What you see here, What you do here, What you hear here, Let it stay here.”
Deb’s constantly pregnant, which gets more and more suspicious as the plot goes on.
In the opening party scene, Nick Kroll’s character, Bill, shouts, “Your pregnant wife is drunk!” about Deb. At first, this just seems like REALLY bad parenting.
But after Alice has had electroshock therapy and struggles to remember who Deb is, Bunny tells her, “The one who’s always pregnant” to help jog her memory. This hints that Deb’s ongoing pregnancy is part of the simulation, and she’ll probably never give birth (hence her being able to drink with zero consequences).
There’s a ton of yellow in the film, particularly in a number of the wives’ outfits. Take or leave, but this could be a reference to “The Yellow Wallpaper,” a famous feminist short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman that also explores female entrapment.
The most poignant example of this symbolism is when Margaret, the first woman in the film to actually question the Victory Project and challenge the status quo, does so wearing a yellow dress.
When Margaret’s husband, Kevin, pulls the curtain to shield them from Alice at Frank’s house party, we see a flash of the “real” Alice laying in bed experiencing the simulation.
Blink and you’ll miss it, but it’s definitely there:
At Frank’s house party, Alice runs her finger through a miniature model of Victory, a subtle nod to the fact that the town is just a facade. It’s also the route Alice takes to escape to headquarters at the end.
There’s tons of eye imagery all over Victory, which is basically the simulation hiding in plain site.
Speaking of eyes, right before Alice experiences hallucinations — like when the walls close in on her while she’s cleaning — she’s often seen rubbing or scratching her eye.
There’s also lots of circle imagery. In fact, the town of Victory is built as a perfect circle, with room to expand. This reflects the perfection Frank wants to create within the Victory Project simulation, as well as the never-ending monotony of the wives’ time in Victory — always the same, never changing or progressing forward.
During the ballet scenes, Shelley and the other women repeat this phrase: “There is a beauty in control. There is a grace in symmetry. We move as one.” This further touches on the “perfection” of the simulation and how the wives move about their lives in Victory the exact same way.
When Dr. Collins is checking on Alice at home, he asks Jack, “What is it you Brits say?” But Jack pauses and doesn’t answer.
This is our first tip-off that Jack isn’t actually British, but rather chose to be British inside the simulation. He doesn’t answer because he doesn’t know, which forces Dr. Collins to answer his own question.
Throughout the film, Alice is chased and antagonized by men in red jumpsuits. In the flashback to real life/present day, Alice walks past a janitor in an identical red jumpsuit as she’s leaving the hospital.
This could be a sign that the red jumpsuits are Alice’s subconscious creating a visual that’s familiar to her, since she first saw it outside the simulation.
When Alice slides to the bottom of the bathtub, Alice’s reflection doesn’t follow her. Instead, it breaks the fourth wall.
At Frank’s party at the club, the band on stage is named the Dollhouse Brass Band, a very on-the-nose nod to the fact that Victory is the dollhouse and the residents — especially the wives — are the dolls.
Later on in the scene, Shelley presents a burlesque dancer as a surprise for Frank. At one point, the dancer (played by none other than Dita Von Teese!!!) briefly makes eye contact with Alice, letting her know that she’s in on the simulation. This triggers Alice’s breakdown.
And finally, when Alice is less aware of the simulation, her wardrobe is bright and vibrant. When she becomes more aware of the simulation, her clothes are plain and muted.
Did I miss any details? What are your thoughts on Don’t Worry Darling? Let’s discuss in the comments!