The end of the world makes people do crazy things they normally wouldn’t do but Don’t Look Up pretty much throws common sense out of the window with brilliantly chaotic characters perfectly played by a top notch cast of Hollywood A-Listers.
Synopsis: PhD candidate Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence) discovers a comet hurtling towards with a 100 percent possibility of impact which prompts her and her adviser Dr. Randall Mindy (Leonardo DiCaprio) to report the doomsday scenario to the White House. Unfortunately, they don’t get the reaction they expected from President Janie Orlean (Meryl Streep) or her overbearing son, Jason (Jonah Hill), whose sense of entitlement also gives him a 100 percent possibility of offending people every time he opens his mouth. Armed with their data, Randall and Kate must fight to let people know about the planet killer comet.
Don’t Look Up is the type of hilarious comedy that makes you want to cry in frustration because it just hits too close to home. While the characters were created to fill various stereotype, audiences can easily relate to these people. The mousy nerd, the rebel intellectual, the privileged a*shole, the out of touch politician, the greedy businessman, the media that cares only about ratings and engagement, and the underrepresented minority.
Everyone knows these people. We deal with them on a daily basis. But even though their reactions seem over the top and they were written to be funny, its scary because in real life, there are people who are just like them.
Initially, I was frustrated by the reaction to the news of the planet killer comet. While many years before, Morgan Freeman’s President Tom Beck immediately took action to save as many people from the Wolf Beiderman comet in Deep Impact, Meryl Streep’s President Orlean was a Class A b*tch whose only concern was cleaning up her scandal to win in the midterm elections.
Sound familiar? Well, of course. Ninety percent of world politicians make decisions like this woman. They could care less about the welfare of their constituents because they are guaranteed a seat on a doomsday shelter no matter how things turn out. And the greedy businessman whose arrogance is fueled by the army of employees ready and willing to do his bidding? Look closely. You know who these people are. You also have versions of them in your country.
Audiences get mad at what is happening on the screen. Greed and ambition take precedence over all the rest. It is easy to lull people into a sense of security with catchphrase drivel like “Don’t Look Up,” because the simple act of doing so would reveal the truth. Yet, there are millions who happily buy into motherhood statements and assurances of development just because it is easier than having to deal with reality. Its sad, and its appalling.
However, once you get to think about it, the people’s reaction to the comet is just too real. If this scenario plays out in real life, there is a strong possibility of this happening. With half of the world consuming information through their smartphones to the exclusion of everything else, people will believe that cows are blue when enough netizens post about it. And because of the amount of bad news that we consume daily, people have become desensitized to such news and choose instead to turn a blind eye until it’s too late, or until a celebrity tells them to care about it. Nobody cares anymore, and sadly, we are already halfway there.
I’ve seen plenty of disaster movies but almost none where I was rooting for the demise of humankind. The people in the movie deserved it, and if life imitated art in this scenario, it makes me think that maybe we deserve it too.
Mad props to Meryl Streep, who made her character as despicable as they come. Leonardo Dicaprio brought that awkward nerd energy to a whole new level, and Jennifer Lawrence really made her character, passion and flaws, come to life. Special shoutout to Timothee Chalamet who once again successfully transformed himself into a new character this time around.
Don’t Look Up is an excellently written, well executed film that will long stay with you after watching it. The satire mercilessly trains the lens on humankind and how close we are to self destructing because of our callous behavior and idiocy. The movie may have been based on satire but its a very strong wake up call to all of us to care, and to not lose sight over our the things that actually matter. It teaches us to heed common sense and to listen to real science. Most of all, it teaches us that we get the leaders that we deserve and if we choose wrongly, we can all just sign ourselves up to our doom. We will have no one to blame but ourselves.