Look up, and see the greatness that is “Don’t Look Up”  

Victoria Kirova, Features Editor

The year 2021 saw many deplorable and grim events, making it one that many wish they could omit from their minds. Fortunately, the release of, “Don’t Look Up,” on New Year’s Eve allowed something memorable, for good reasons, to be left in the old year. This movie’s casting of prestigious actors did not disappoint. From Jennifer Lawrence, to Leonardo DiCaprio, and even Meryl Streep, audiences of all generations found amusement and incentive to watch the performance of their favorites. 

This dark comedy mixed with science fiction had viewers laughing and mocking the unbothered reactions people had to the declarative news that a comet was going to cause an extinction event for all species on earth. However, when these responses are closely inspected, one can realize that the writers of this movie may have taken much inspiration from the behavior they are seeing from humans in the current state of the world.

At the beginning of the movie, further exploration confirms that the deadly comet has only six months left in its trajectory. This detection sends Kate Dibiasky, played by Jennifer Lawrence, and Dr. Randall Mindy, portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio, into a frenzy. From trying to discuss the possible solutions with President Orlean, played by Meryl Streep, to making their first media appearance to try and warn society, they stopped at nothing to inform the public of this detrimental occurrence. However, spoiler alert, the public could not be more uninterested.

Both Dibiasky and Mindy’s reactions to their finding seemed to be an excellent and accurate portrayal of the mindset people should have if they knew something similar was going to happen. The only question that arises is, why does the public have to know? If these two scientists are so positive that the comet hitting earth is inevitable, it almost seems like society would be better off living their lives instead of having to cry every night and be violent towards each other. It almost seems like Dibiasky and Mindy wanted everyone to know, so that they were not the only ones whose pain and terror was eating at them day after day. While this is a valid point, the acting in this movie was astonishing and really allowed the viewers to feel the pain and frustration that these two prominent characters were feeling. They are also definitely not roles that could be successfully completed by everyone, as a result of the palpable  bond between this pair. 

Unfortunately, the part of this movie that made it a total success was not the reactions of people who were distressed, but rather, the acting of everyone else. From denying the issue to simply ignoring it, everyone had a different opinion about the comet and as is expected, not many of them had the correct one until more notable people got involved. This satirical approach to a serious topic allowed the audience to feel a sense of relatability because of the issues in our world, such as the pandemic and global warming. This movie shows that even in the real world, people’s indifferent attitude towards these issues can damage life as we know it. It served as an important wake up call for anyone who looks deeper into the purpose of creating this plot. 

One of the only shortfalls in this film is the unrealistic and sudden change of character in Dr. Randall Mindy. He went from a devoted and reliable scientist, to one who let the fame of being the one who “discovered the comet” get to his head. He also began to believe the propaganda that he was witnessing by the leaders of society, and was even a part of it, which is something that was unimaginable for him at the beginning. Thankfully, he is able to correct his behavior and revert to his original self, only with a greater sense of drive and distrust in him.

Another unfortunate part of this movie is something that has nothing to do with the storyline of it at all. The length. After two hours and 25 min, it becomes impossible to focus on the plot, without the occasional pause to see how much time is left. This draws away from the story that is being told, and makes the ending exciting — for the wrong reasons. 

However, with all of this in mind, this movie could not be labeled a miss. Usually, with the majority of movies featuring primarily star-studded casts, the only good part is seeing familiar faces, but in “Don’t Look up,” the plot was just as significant. From playing with current political views, to creating accurate portrayals of people’s different reactions, this movie stopped at nothing to deliver a quality film that kept the viewer satisfied, making predictions throughout, and lying awake at night wondering if humans are truly as foolish as they were made out to be.