Last updated on February 18, 2022
The new Netflix Original Don’t Look Up has caught the eye of many students at the Northwest School. This academy award-nominated movie stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Cate Blanchet, Ariana Grande, Timothee Chalamet, Meryl Streep, Chris Evans, and many others.
The movie starts with a planet-killing comet shooting towards Earth. Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence play distraught scientists (Dr. Randall Mindy and Kate Dibiasky) who discovered this comet. They are scrambling to get politicians to act, and the public to believe them. The two scientists are sent to the White House where they meet with the President of the United States, who brushes off their warning. The rest of the world is also far too distracted by famous pop star Riley Bina (played by Ariana Grande) and she split up with her boyfriend to be worried about the world-ending comet. Towards the end of the film, the two scientists Mindy and Dibiasky, along with the rest of the world, catch a glimpse of the comet as it comes towards Planet Earth from outer space. At this point, the world is finally starting to realize how real this threat is, but it becomes evident that it’s too late to do anything about it.
While the film is satirical, it does provide a frighteningly realistic portrayal of humankind’s tendency to push difficult-to-swallow truths that cannot necessarily be seen easily throughout the movie. Leila S. ‘23 told me her impressions of the movie. “After finishing the movie I reflected on my contribution to normalizing important things,” she said. “I also realized how I contribute to the toxic social media culture over things that are actually important. I thought the comet in the movie represented a lot of problems that we ignore in our society because we are so obsessed with people that don’t even know us. I think more people should also watch this and reflect on their toxic contribution and where they focus their attention.”Another perspective on this movie is that this film is an allegory for climate change. It is showing how those with the power to do something about global warming willfully avoid taking action, and how those with interests can mislead the public. There’s often an alarming sense of oblivion around the real challenges it will pose down the track, which was shown throughout the film. The movie also reflects a denial of scientific facts more broadly, including what the world has been seeing with COVID-19. In the film, scientists run the numbers of the comet, its size, its speed, etc., and come up with the conclusion that it’s going to directly hit Earth. In today’s world, scientists have been doing the same thing with climate change, regarding greenhouse gas emissions, ocean acidity, melting ice caps, and much more for decades now, and each year the consensus remains the same: This issue is getting worse at an alarming rate.
Even in the film when the threat of the comet becomes clear, U.S. President Janie Orlean downplays its severity and argues that action will be taken in the future. She then starts using the phrase “Don’t Look Up” for her political rallies. In reality, politicians have failed to take the threat of climate change seriously by delaying climate action. They’ve also continuously tried to mitigate the crisis, and have actively denied existence. This is a movie that I recommend you watch with your friends, families, or just by yourself. After watching this film you will see the strong meaning behind it and how it needs to be addressed in today’s world. There are so many little things you can do in your daily life to help with climate change. Look over this link https://www.imperial.ac.uk/stories/climate-action/ to make a difference.
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