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“Don’t look up”- Garbage or a valuable critique of contemporary society?

The highly anticipated film, Don’t Look Up, directed by Adam McKay and starring world-class actors such as Leonardo Di Caprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Jonah Hill, and Timothee Chalamet, was met with high criticism.

The apocalyptic film’s roster left many with high hopes and expectations. So much so that it became Netflix’s second most-viewed movie to date. The eventual outcome, however, disappointed many, including writer, David Ehrlich, who commented, "people who watched this movie snarked; well, that's two hours I'll never get back." On the other hand, many claim that Don’t Look Up doesn’t deserve the hate it gets since it contains great cinematography as well as valuable critiques on modern society. Taking everything into account, was Don’t Look Up overhyped or underappreciated?

Don't Look Up is a humorous, brazen satire of a modern America so engrossed in celebrity worship, senseless entertainment, social media fame, and political gamesmanship that it refuses to see the planet's impending annihilation. One of the scenarios which most accurately depicts this transpires early in the film; Dr. Randall Mindy has indisputable proof that an inconceivably large comet would wipe out Earth in exactly six months and fourteen days. The odds of "planet extinction" are assessed to be 99.78%, yet president Janie Orlean is more concerned with the forthcoming midterm elections and the surfacing nude photos of her lover, a Supreme Court candidate. "Call it 70% and let's just move on," she says.

This movie is destined for the pessimists in modern society; the same people who think chaos is descending upon the world and that the forces that should bring order are failing to do so. One who watches Don’t Look Up should also comprehend that true satire is a conscious distortion of reality.

Despite its many cinematic merits, Don't Look Up has only a 55 percent Rotten Tomatoes rating, with critics from across the political spectrum having joined the surprisingly furious attack on the comedy. However, it received best picture nominations from the Golden Globes and the Critics' Choice Movie Awards. To put it another way, reviewers can't stand a star-studded satire that dares to be insistently gloomy in concept and large in execution. It's unlikely that this picture would have been as entertaining or as amusing if it had a slower pace, a smaller budget, and a less well-known cast. However, it could have earned more positive reviews if that was the case.

Ultimately, negative reviews of Don't Look Up comprise criticisms that have been so disproportionate and unimportant that they resemble the anti-science society’s naive reasoning, which the film itself comments on. It is without a doubt, not Hollywood’s greatest creation, but it provides viewers with an urgent message, which ought to be heard and not played off as “foolish exaggeration”. To consider this movie simplistic or useless shows complete disregard towards its whole purpose and existence.


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