There is nothing more effective to make society aware of the problems in the world than a movie with A-list actors.
One of Hollywood’s newest hits, Don’t Look Up, was recently nominated for four Oscars: Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Film Editing, and Best Original Score. The movie is praised by many and is the second most watched movie on Netflix of all time.
It is so popular, not purely because of its A-list actors, but because of how eerily similar it is to today’s society.
When Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence), an astronomy PhD candidate, is researching alone one night, she discovers a comet. Excited, she notifies her professor, Dr. Mindy (Leonardo DiCaprio). However, joy quickly turns to mourning and disbelief as the pair discovers that it is not just a small comet, it is an extinction-level comet that will make direct impact with Earth in just over six months.
The duo, along with the head of NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office, Dr. Teddy Oglethorpe (Rob Morgan), go to the White House to notify the president (Meryl Streep).
However, she brushes the dire warning off, saying that people come to her all the time warning that the Earth will end soon, and that there is nothing to worry about.
Frustrated, Mindy and Dibiasky go to a news interview, hoping that someone will take them seriously. However, no one believes that they will die in six months, instead choosing to live in blissful ignorance, even as the comet looms above them.
The similarities between Don’t Look Up and today’s society are astounding.
We may not have a comet threatening to destroy the Earth, but there is something else plotting our demise: Covid-19.
The comet and Covid are not the only similarities in the film. The president possesses many of the same qualities as many politicians, including Former President Trump. President Orlean encourages U.S. citizens to ignore the comet that is visible above them using the slogan Don’t Look Up, in opposition to Mindy and Dibiasky’s (who represent scientists trying to warn society of Covid and other dangers) phrase, Just Look Up.
This is similar to how Trump, and other politicians, downplay the severity of Covid-19, despite the rise in cases, deaths, and hospitalizations. Anti-maskers turn a blind eye to the obvious destruction around them, just like supporters of President Orlean ignored the comet. They believe that, just like Covid, if they ignore the comet, it won’t hurt them.
Another similarity is how the celebrity breakup between Riley Bina (Ariana Grande) and her boyfriend (Scott Mescudi) makes the front page rather than the comet. This is similar to how in today’s society, important issues like climate change are overshadowed by celebrity gossip.
Although Don’t Look Up is fictional, it is already becoming a reality, and the world needs to be ready for it.