The 28-year-old Grammy-winning pop and soft rock musician, Harry Styles, recently became involved in a mess of controversies after taking up a role in the Warner Bros. film, Don’t Worry Darling. His rise to global domination as a pop-culture icon was going great until he decided to delve deeper into the acting pool, after testing the waters with Dunkirk and Eternals. Now, Harry Styles’ role in the psychological thriller is not only marred by distasteful controversies but his otherwise charming on-screen presence is being called into question due to his overall performance.
Harry Styles and His Troubled Path Toward DWD
2022 has been the year of Harry Styles. He performed for the twice sold-out America and Europe Love On Tour, headlined his first Coachella, released a new album, shattered about half-a-dozen records, launched his first business venture with Pleasing, starred in two films as the leading man, and got his banner raised at the Madison Square Garden — and it’s only September. But despite his numerous luminous conquests on the horizon, the young British pop star snagged when it came to Don’t Worry Darling.
It was supposed to be a celebration of the power held on-screen by the world’s most famous man paired with the brilliant Florence Pugh, surrounded by Hollywood A-listers, and being directed by the rising and visionary female director, Olivia Wilde. But then the film fell apart in a matter of weeks once the actors wrapped up and the deeply troubling promotion of the movie began.
The problem with the Warner Bros. film is multi-faceted. The crowd, whether they like it or not, has become aware of the back-to-back controversies surrounding Don’t Worry Darling. What started with an escalating drama from behind the scenes soon became the next subject to be picked apart and dissected by reviewers, critics, and the ever-awake internet. But even though debates and dissensions about Olivia Wilde’s alleged faux feminism now take the forefront of the social harangue, it also affects by proxy the lesser crime committed by Harry Styles with his shoddy acting.
Also read: “The double standards are outlandish”: Olivia Wilde Gets Rare Support From Fans Despite Troubled Production of Don’t Worry Darling, Ask Why Jason Sudeikis Has Halted Ted Lasso Production For His Perfectionism
Harry Styles Becomes a Subject of Mass Criticism
The singer/actor’s presence in the Olivia Wilde-directed film should have been a passing blot on the paper. Instead, due to the obvious PR stunt that was the entirety of the film’s press tour, including the Styles-Wilde relationship, Shia LaBeouf controversy, Florence Pugh’s non-involvement, and the unnecessarily blown-up Spitgate incident, the popularity of the star-studded film became elevated manifold in the public eye.
The increased popularity also meant hyped-up fan expectations which failed to be met when the film proved to be just another psychological thriller. But it gets complicated because the lesser experienced Harry Styles fails to keep up with the star-studded affair involving Florence Pugh, Chris Pine, Gemma Chan, and Olivia Wilde. His acting was passable and fails to make an impression. But considering that he performed noticeably in his short stint on Christopher Nolan’s set, perhaps the problem here could be accorded to the limited input from the director’s end for the rookie among all the other A-listers.
His accent, on the other hand, becomes a jargon of the American South and his native north England. It would have been an easier and smarter choice to rule his character, Jack Chambers, as an Englishman. As cited by The Guardian critic, Peter Bradshaw, “Styles may or may not be a talented actor; it’s hard to tell from this.” But Twitter has stronger opinions.
No cus half the crowd burst out laughing during this in the theatre i went to 😭
— c (@milanszn) September 23, 2022
putting Florence Pugh and Harry Styles in the same movie was a mistake because her acting literally runs circles around him in every scene.
— ︎ ً (@HailEternal) September 25, 2022
hope harry styles uses this ticket money for acting lessons
— katie *:･ﾟ✧*:･ﾟ✧ (@katiebaileey) September 1, 2022
harry styles’ acting was so bad that even his fans misinterpreted his character’s action or plot. https://t.co/8Ic6VJMBaK
— o’brien (@deeplyfrost) September 21, 2022
believe it or not, this wasn’t Florence Pugh acting, this was her real reaction at Harry Styles “acting” pic.twitter.com/vHCmN5xsGh
— liv (@napakins) September 21, 2022
harry styles acting is like when your high school theater department recruits a random hot guy to be the male lead bc no one else auditions
— elizabeth (@elizabeyonce) September 24, 2022
Setting aside critics’ opinions, Don’t Worry Darling offered a limited script to a flat character, and although professional actors have done more with less, Harry Styles is far from being a professional in the field. This is what makes it scary for veteran world-building institutions like Marvel to have names like his attached to their roster of lead casts, especially when there could be a future possibility of Starfox’s appearance in the MCU. To have Styles’ name linked to Eternals on a whim was a bad call and whether they decide to recast him or completely remove the role of Eros, it still begs re-evaluation of an industry’s priorities to feature famous names just for publicity.
Don’t Worry Darling is now playing in theatres worldwide.
Source: Screen Rant