Don’t Look Up offers new perspective on disaster movie

HIGHLY ANTICIPATED. Leonardo DiCaprio stars as Randy Mindy, an astronomer who along with his lab partner Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence). The film is about a comet that will crash into Earth and no one pays any attention, much to the chagrin of its discoverers. Photo by Molly Murphey.

Article by Ben Sorkin

Recently, I saw the new film Don’t Look Up, available on Netflix. The film stars Jennifer Lawrence and Leonardo DiCaprio as two scientists who discover a large, world-ending comet on a collision course to Earth, and follows their lives in the months leading up to the disaster. 

Unlike other disaster movies like Twister and 2012, Don’t Look Up takes a more cynical and black comedic approach to how the world would react to the comet. Instead of the people “banding together heroically from the moment of its discovery to the end,” we see a world so caught up in itself that the meteor is seen as just another mere trivial story compared to the break up of a famous musician couple. The two scientists that discovered the comet, Kate Dibiasky (Lawrence) and Randall Mindy (DiCaprio), play the two different ways people in their position could act.

Kate tries to tell the world immediately, but because of the corrupt government, she is silenced, while Randall becomes more people- and camera-friendly, effectively selling himself out. In a world full of idiocy, selfishness and dumbed down PR consumerism, it is portrayed here full force in the form of an oddball rich tech billionaire that wishes to mine the comet, an incompetant U.S.  President who starts by lightheartedly dismissing the scientists’ worries for her own political needs and later completely denies the comet’s existence and dismissive talk show hosts that are just looking to give the people what they want, not what they need. 

This film is a great reflection of our current world and what might happen if we get lost in our own heads. Don’t Look Up does a great job of this in a witty, satirical style and I highly recommend it to anyone who feels pissed at PR media and consumerism.

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