Streaming on Netflix 24th December 2021
Adam Mc Kay’s Don’t Look Up is an allegory of sorts in many ways. It talks about how world leaders, corporations, and big media are dealing with global warming and its consequences. It works both as a satire and also as a wakeup call. The satire mostly comes through the character of President Orlean (Meryl Streep). Her character is based on ex President Donald Trump.
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The story of Don’t Look Up revolves around two astronomers Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence) and Dr Mindy (Leonardo DiCaprio). Both of them embark. While working on a research paper they stumble upon the existence of a comet “the size of Mount Everest.” It is hurtling towards the earth and is all set to make a deadly impact in 14 days. The comet is said to have the power of a billion Hiroshima bombs.
First they warn the American president who is in the midst of a political crisis over a Supreme Court appointment. She and her son along with the chief of staff make them wait for hours before sending them away. The next day she gives them twenty minutes to have their say. The president along with the administration don’t take their warnings seriously.
Left with no other option they go to a morning show of a television hosted by Brie Evantee (Cate Blancheet) and Jack Bremmer (Tyler Perry). They try to put their point across but the television hosts are just another pair of guests who are not worthy of importance. The excitement is more about the break- up of a popstar (Ariana Grande in a cameo). Not surprisingly both the astronomers feel like they are talking to a wall. Kate in particular is livid and doesn’t shy away from showing her emotions. What follows is a cocktail of many socio political issues.
The most striking aspect of Don’t Look Up is how the director tackles the many themes in the film. In the hands of a less competent director this cocktail would have fallen flat but Adam Mc Kay does a terrific job in not only making you laugh but also making you thoughtful about how indifferent we have become towards climate change.
An important aspect of the film is how it looks at people from both ends of the spectrum. On one hand you have the realists who recognize where the world is heading, at the other hand you have those who pretend that everything is fine. The director does a terrific job in capturing both these sides.
The scenes involving Meryl Streep’s character is another major asset. Through her character the director talks about autocracy, he takes several jibes at the way Donald Trump has functioned. Anyone who has issues with the government is picked up and given a warning. This comes through in the scene involving Jennifer Lawrence character.
Leanardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence are a delight to watch in their respective roles. They make you empathize with the frustrations of Kate and Dr Mindy. Meryl Streep is a complete hoot as President Orlean. It is clear that she has enjoyed playing this character a lot.
Don’t miss Don’t Look Up.