Revelation has been covered countless times in fiction, but Rarely has the end of the world been such a topical and topical subject as it is today. The last two or three years will go down in history as the most chaotic and surreal of our time and what better time to redefine disaster cinema than this one, in which it seems we are living on a permanent state of alert awaiting the next cataclysm, as we tweet jokes about the previous one.
Adam McKay, the Oscar-winning director behind ‘The Great Gamble’, ‘The Vice President: Beyond Power’ and ‘Succession’ among others, echoes that sentiment in his new feature, ‘Don’t Look Up’, a Netflix original film that is It raises how the world would react to a catastrophe that threatens to extinguish the human species. With humor as the main tool and dizziness at his disposal, McKay rewrites apocalyptic cinema to reflect social transformations of recent years in brilliant and essential satire.
The sky is falling!
“I wish a meteorite would fall” or “We should disappear” is a comment that comes up often on social networks, especially in recent years and whenever a piece of news is absurd compared to the previous one. Well, in ‘Don’t Look Up’ McKay grants our wishes. The film revolves around the astonishing and terrifying discovery of Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence), a graduate student in astronomy, and her teacher, Dr. Randall Mindy (Leonardo DiCaprio): a comet the size of Everest is heading towards Earth and in six months will collide with it, wiping out all life on the planet. The two astronomers try to warn the authorities, but they run into a problem: no one cares.
With the help of Dr Oglethorpe (Rob Morgan), Kate and Randall embarked on a journey to raise awareness of the impending disaster, starting with the Oval Office of the White House, where President Orlean (Meryl Streep) and her son and Chief of Staff Jason (Jonah Hill) greets them with indifference and refuses to listen, only to turn to the media, where they will fight to be noticed against the endless stream of news and a media obsessed audience. social. In a frustrating race against time, the two try to do their best to save humanity before it’s too late, but make the world look up and believe their warnings are an impossible mission.
Combining socio-political criticism, absurd comedy and science fiction, ‘Don’t look up’ perfectly captures the current climate, imagine a hypothetical situation which, as crazy as it may seem, is strongly supported by the reality in which we live. Because, although for the moment there is no comet “killer of planets” heading towards the Earth to kill us all, We have faced enough disasters already to see that even in the greatest moments of crisis human stupidity will cease to amaze us.. This is the idea that animates the film, and which makes it one of the most relevant and precise proposals of this year.
Stars against kite
The first thing that catches the attention of âDon’t Lookâ is its massive and stellar distribution. Adam McKay and Netflix stand as a cast, bringing together a distinguished group of Hollywood big names to bring the film’s original wildlife to life. And best of all, they don’t rest on their laurels, but everyone puts all their meat on the grill, avoid falling into what happens to many projects with famous choral cast: noise about nothing.
Indeed, in ‘Don’t look up’ there is a lot of noise and also a lot of nuts. The film is directed by DiCaprio and Lawrence, who are the main protagonists, the voices of reason in a circus of clowns and lunatics. DiCaprio shines as he explores a different register than we’re used to – that of a poor, shy, ordinary man who is overwhelmed by an impossible situation – as Lawrence returns after his absence from the screens reminding us why he’s one of the best. actresses of her generation. They’re both 100% hitting the right notes in every scene.
They are joined by Tyler Perry and a cartoonish Cate Blanchett as hosts of a morning newscast (imagine a parody of the parody that is ‘The Morning Show’), a funny TimothÃ©e Chalamet taking very little seriously. as a young nihilistic emo punk, Scott Mescudi (the rapper known as Kid Cudi) and Ariana Grande as a singing couple who top the comet with their romance, and a absolutely hilarious Mark Rylance as eccentric tech guru and creator of an Apple parody business, quite a thief of scene. But if there is a duo that takes the film in the street, this is the one they form Meryl Streep as President of the United States, an unsubtle parody of Donald Trump With whom the actress has a good time (and makes us have a good time), and her son, played by the most comically inspired Jonah Hill.
Without exaggeration (well, a little)
While it is true that McKay’s narrative ambition and the multiple fronts that make up the story make the film more and more inconsistent as it progresses, âDon’t Look Upâ is not lacking. not to entertain and, above all, to get your message across loud and clear. and clear. The film makes people laugh as it slips an eerie reflection on the world below, drawing a parallel between the catastrophic event of the comet and the environmental crisis.
McKay wants to raise awareness based on satire and for that he plays all possible sticks. He talks about public desensitization to media overstimulation and the growing wave of catastrophic news, the role of the media in fueling paranoia with disinformation and sensationalism, and the relegation of important information to frivolity. and the easy click, the incompetence of governments, the superficiality of social media, fake news and alternative facts, and how algorithms and statistics rule our lives.
And not just that. In his sharp and edgy script, McKay also leaves room for fame, America’s navel, the frustration of the scientific community with the rise of the dumbest conspiracy theories, the exploitation of tragedies and crises and their instrumentalisation by policies and companies which seek only to profit from them, the generation gap and the rise of an archaic thought based on the idea that “it is not than another generation, âthe normalization of ruling sociopaths and fascists or misogyny (they treat Lawrence’s character as hysterical and unbalanced, while DiCaprio’s is made famous and transformed into a sex symbol). It’s a worldview as real as it is disheartening that McKay and his dedicated cast manage to poke fun at without burying the message..
Like the series ‘Black Mirror’ or ‘Veep’ and the mock documentary ‘Fuck 2020’, “Don’t Look Up” uses hyperbole to reflect the reality of a time when even the most ridiculous exaggeration is within the realm of reality (hence the film’s slogan is “Based on Possible Facts”). In this parody of our own world, the information that a comet will turn us off forever is one more news in the 24 hour cycle, an Apocalypse that invites us to make memes, to help the world with songs (to the ‘Imagine’) and continue to share everything we think on the Internet, forcing us to do a big reflection: If the world ended in six months, would we stop tweeting?
“Do not seek” is a “What if …? Â»As funny as terrifying, a” Armageddon “of the 21st century imagined by one of the best socio-political observers of cinema today. Full of surreal, absurd and frustrating moments, the film finds in its home stretch the humanity that hides under chaos and puts it at the forefront of history, to then end it with an epic joke that reminds us that, Although the world is ending, we will always have the opportunity to laugh at everything and everyone. If humanity were to disappear and aliens found this movie, it would faithfully show them what our civilization looked like at that time.
The best: Its spectacular cast and McKay script, which leaves no puppet with a head and is full of memorable moments that perfectly sum up our time.
Worse: He lacks cohesion and the risks he takes on his home stretch might not be everyone’s cup of tea.