How do you think that people would react if they heard that a comet would come crashing into your planet?
The film ‘Don’t Look Up’ talks about the same issue and their reaction was to either pay no attention to it or deny the facts. This film is quite different from the others related to the apocalypse. It paints a perfect picture of the current scenario where people choose to stay politically correct and hard facts do nothing to change people’s views. Several studies have even found out that facts do nothing to change the age-old system of belief.
The film ‘Don’t Look Up’ shows two scientists, Dr. Randall Mindy and Kate Dibiasky, played by Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence, who find out that a massive comet will crash with Earth. They only have half a year to warn the people about the impending doom that will bring an end to the human race. This news might be hard to digest however the people’s reactions were quite relatable. No one paid much heed to their warning which included the media, the entire population, and even the President.
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Adam McKay who is the director, producer, and writer of “Don’t Look Up” wanted this movie to be a parody about people’s response to climate issues.
“This movie came from my burgeoning terror about the climate crisis and the fact that we live in a society that tends to place it as the fourth or fifth news story, or in some cases even deny that it’s happening, and how horrifying that is, but at the same time preposterously funny,” he explains in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.
Most people are viewing the comet as an allegory to the pandemic and that interpretation is holding up too. The movie also involves the scientific community who are frustrated with their data and would not pay any attention to their theories. The political figures are using the crisis as a front to run their agendas while the millionaires are doing their best to make more from it.
Leonardo DiCaprio is a climate change campaigner and was quite thrilled to join ‘Don’t Look Up’.
“I was just thankful to play a character who is solely based on so many of the people that I’ve met from the scientific community and, in particular, climate scientists who’ve been trying to communicate the urgency of this issue and feeling like they’re subjected to the last page on the newspaper.”
He continued, “But I also love the way he was just incredibly truthful about how we’re so immensely distracted from the truth nowadays. And then, of course, Covid hit and there was a whole new scientific argument going on there. It’s just such an important film to be a part of at this particular time.”
Jennifer Lawrence added: “It’s just so sad and frustrating to watch people who have dedicated their lives to learning the truth be turned away because people don’t like what the truth has to say.”
“Don’t Look Up” Is So Horrifying That It Becomes Funny
‘Don’t Look Up’ is quite unique for the comedy it portrays as well as the existentialism. Some of the scenes in the movie might seem implausible but it might feel too real in certain moments. These might differ from person to person.
Justin Chang told the LA Times, “Nothing about the foolishness and outrageousness of what the movie shows us—no matter how virtuosically sliced and diced by McKay’s characteristically jittery editor, Hank Corwin—can really compete with the horrors of our real-world American idiocracy.”
The delivery of the movie has put off several viewers but McKay wanted the audience to enjoy this surreal experience no matter their political stance. The big thing that he wanted to achieve was to make sure the movie was funny.
The Society’s Reaction To Climate Change
The majority of climate scientists have agreed that climate change is caused by the human race but still people are choosing to deny this.
According to some psychologists, deceptive or erroneous information about it is part of the problem. Especially when it confirms already existing beliefs.
In ‘Don’t Look Up’ people following such misinformation are properly portrayed. It was quite sad when they finally saw the comet and realized how they were misled by their leaders with their own agendas. There are also motivations to refuse to acknowledge climate change, such as an unwillingness for government interference or further taxation or livelihoods that depend on industries such as oil.
Ranney added that it was important to feel empowered especially when they were communicating about this issue.
“It’s going to become more and more obvious to everyone that global warming is occurring and that it’s scary and yet something that we can fix, and should,” he said. “This is not a time to be passive and allow this calamity to happen to us. We can fix this, and we can fix this now.”