Baked in Apathy: DON’T LOOK UP
The world is coming to an end! Its political satire, obviously where all the jabs are hit in all the right places. Yeah, this could totally happen when you have an incompetent body of government, who are strongly influenced by corporate war lords who control everything and make decisions that cost the environment and every living being on the planet of its survival.
Netflix's latest film by Adam McKay, DON’T LOOK UP is annoyingly stubborn when it comes to listening to a cold, hard, depressing truth from two astronomers, Kate (Jennifer Lawerence) and Dr. Randall Mindy (Leonardo DiCaprio) who discover a comet heading for earth in precisely six months. They warn Madame President of the United States Janie Orlean (Meryl Streep) but it’s in one ear and out the other as, she’s focused on her latest sex scandal involving another politician, but then realizes this may act as a nice buffer and immediately implements a strategy that will allow nuclear weapons to strike the comet from crashing into sweet mother earth. It’ll do wonders for her approval ratings. Ouch.
So the two astronomers decide to go on a popular morning talk show to ring the alarm with hosts Brie Evantee (Cate Blanchett) and Jack Bremmer (Tyler Perry) but that goes to shit in a hand basket which is nauseatingly terrifying because no one is taking it seriously. Again bad for ratings. So, so far the political and media stratosphere have both struck out in believing the credibility of two scientists, which would drive anyone too insanity. Social media does what it does best by poking fun of the two protagonists by creating memes and gifs, which completely drives the journey to plateau. At this point the two astronomers branch off, where Randall rides the wave of popularity and success from his charming good lucks, seems to eclipse his heavily riddled anxiety demeanor while his new found attention is pampered by Brie Evantee. The two have an affair, with zero compassion for Randall’s wife and family. Kate on the other hand, being the butt of jokes, flees back home to Illinois where her parents shun her for her beliefs so she ends up working a retail job at DrinkMo where she meets, Yule (Timothee Chalamet) who attempts to shoplift but recognizes her and the two have a fling.
At this point, the President has decided to go against her initial plan and is convinced by a Sir Peter Isherwell (Mark Rylance) a tech billionaire, CEO and founder of BASH, who redirects the mission for his own personal gain emphasizing the comet has rare-earth elements that will be valuable stimulating a trillion dollar economy for everyone. What the fuck? The plan goes to shit and earth perishes, the end.
This whole odyssey is a crazy circus lacking any rational, critical thinking super power. It falters uncovering the lack of accountability and an apathetic look into the demise of an entire planet. It’s heavy at times despite the bombastic humor it lays so heavily like molasses. Maybe Kurt Vonnegut would be proud? Earth is dying there’s no denying that ponderous truth but let’s poke fun at everyone’s demeanor in handling a situation which I suppose doesn’t have a crystal clear solution. DON’T LOOK UP really is about denying truth. If we don’t accept its presence, it will all go away when in reality people are screaming and fighting to make it better and are being ignored or are attacked for understanding a truth most seem to oppose. It maybe the funniest and yet most depressing movie of 2021.
The most endearing part of the film is the ending. In a sort of attribute to the last supper, in many contexts it fit in a realistic tone as one goes down with the ship. Spending time with cherished ones in a warm and cozy home sharing a meal, and memories of a simpler life is the way I’d want to go as earth crumbles to shreds. Timothee Chalamet’s character Yule gives a prominent bit of dialogue about prayer and it’s the cherry on top to a world gone absolutely bat-shit wacky, when one is looking for a hair of guidance. He asks for love to soothe us in the dark times and that we face whatever is to come with courage that will allow us to open our hearts to acceptance. If we embrace acceptance instead of dismissing the evidence while simultaneously working together with logic, our world will still end, but at least we can do a little good in the meantime while we can still breathe the oxygen earth hasn’t taken away from us…. yet.