By: Akshita Mehta
It is funny, thoughtful and certainly pertinent to the times in which we live and ignore the very real problems we have created for our planet. This movie will be somewhat divisive. You should know this going in.
Gutsy astronomy student Dr Kate ( Jennifer Lawrence) on a standard night manning the telescope, notices the comet and realises it will hit Earth in roughly six months. She shares the information with her anxious professor, Dr Randall Mindy (DiCaprio). With the help of Dr. Teddy Oglethorpe (Rob Morgan) from NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office, they’re taken to talk to President Janie Orlean (Meryl Streep as some unholy combination of Sarah Palin and Donald Trump, and who’s too busy dealing with a Supreme Court candidate scandal to do anything about the possible apocalypse but punt on it). So Kate and Randall turn whistleblower, going with a baffling morning talk show hosted by Cate Blanchett and Tyler Perry as their platform of choice.
The actual news about the comet’s threat receives little public attention and is denied by Orlean’s Director of NASA, a top donor to Orlean with no background in astronomy. The media targeted the president, and thus, to save herself from scandal and divert media attention, Janie announced the preemptive strike on Comet Dibiasky. She projected the image of a president “who cares” and decided to use nuclear explosives to destroy the comet.The missile could have been launched with remote technology, but Janie wanted to brand a hero.Peter Isherwell (Mark Rylance), CEO of cellphone company BASH and the third richest man, was the Platinum Eagle level donor for Janie’s election campaign. Peter Isherwell had illegally stored the users’ data who used his BASH cellphones. Well, realistic enough. Through this data, Peter manipulated or threatened people who raised their voices against him. Though he was light-spoken, his actions were extremely tyrannical. Characters like Peter, Janie, Brie, and Jack were all concerned about their public image and, thus, instead of speaking the truth, they “manipulated the truth.” They sugarcoated everything because humans today don’t want to face harsh realities.
Peter Isherwell and Janie Orlean, along with other rich dudes, escaped from Earth on a spaceship, set out to find another Earth-like planet that they could destroy. Janie asked Randall to come along, but he refused to join them.
In the end credits sequence, Peter’s spaceship found an Earth-like planet in the Goldilocks Zone, and their cryo-chambers landed on the planet’s surface. As they came out of their pods, they sighted eight-legged animals with features Peter believed were called Bronteroc. The Bronteroc attacked Janie with its beak and killed her on the new planet. The fates of other humans seemed dark as well. The Bronteroc would probably kill them all, or they would have to live in hiding for their survival. The post-credit sequence of showed that Janie’s son, Jason, survived the apocalyptic event and probably became the last man on Earth. He requested his dead fans, with no cellular connectivity, to subscribe to his profile and check out his new survival selfie. Because that’s the most important thing to do during an apocalypse.
Don’t Look Up’ is neither a “Comedy” nor a “Disaster” film, it is clearly satire. It makes a point. And above two ascribed genres, give one a completely inaccurate picture. This film is far from both. It is a thought provoking, intelligent film that makes a well deserved mockery of the world we live in and are very much a part of… every last one of us. Or at least those of us who are privileged.
Poster of ‘Don’t Look Up’ (Image source: ComingSoon.net)