Review: Don’t Look Up (2021)

As soon as I saw the star spangled movie poster of Don’t Look Up, I knew it was going to be a good one. I mean, who wouldn’t want to watch Meryl Streep as president?

Even so, I was apprehensive to watch it. The sensation that we could be obliterated at any moment is a fear I’m sure we’ve all catastrophized about (right?!). The end of the world has been a popular trope on our screens for decades, the first known example being the 1916 Danish film aptly named The End Of The World (also referred to as The Flaming Sword). It is something the entire audience can empathise with. I tend to avoid the genre because of the anxiety and dread I feel after watching from the reality of potential disaster.

This was the first catastrophe film in which the ending gave me an odd sense of happiness and tranquillity, appreciating what we do have. Dicaprio’s heartbreaking line “We really did have everything, didn’t we?” really hit home for me.

The film centres two scientists as they try to warn the world about an incoming planet-destroying asteroid. It’s a classic disaster scenario met with an unsettlingly comedic twist: no one is listening. DiCaprio and Lawrence’s characters are thrown into the dark world of media and politics which starkly mirrors our own reality. And I think it is this that makes the film stand out from other disaster films in particular. We can liken the characters to real celebrities and politicians of our time, which is truly terrifying. Jonah Hill based his character on the question of “what if Fyre Festival was a person?”. Jennifer Lawrence seems to represent the audience watching, our horrified and flabbergasted expressions matching hers as we watch her encounter an unprecedented difficulty in getting people to listen. It is a blatant honesty look at media politics and our current world issues making this a truly invigorating watch.

– Lois Beasley

Featured Image Source: Still via Youtube // DON’T LOOK UP | Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence | Official Trailer | Netflix

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