Don't Look Up: Adam McKay's new feature film on Netflix from December 24, is a shrewd and edgy tale of post-truth, a subtle and ironic parable about conspiracy and the relationship between communication and power, on the control of the masses and on the environmental alarm. McKay paints a cruel and real cross-section of mankind and its contradictions, in a film that manages to make people think without even taking themselves seriously. We have reviewed it and today, on the day of its release in cinemas, we will tell you about it.
An apocalyptic future
Dr. Randall Mindy (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Dr. Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence), both leading a team of astronomical researchers, make a discovery that is as epochal as it is apocalyptic. An immense comet, 9 kilometers wide and the size of Everest, will hit planet Earth within just over 6 months.
The damage to the globe will be irreparable: the crash of the asteroid will cause tsunamis over a kilometer high, floods, and earthquakes, destroying everything they encounter and decreeing the end of life on Earth. It is not easy to carry the weight of such a revelation on one's shoulders: dr. Mindy, a scientist on the verge of schizophrenia and depression, decides to support the unfortunate Dibiasky, whose precise and repeated calculations leave no room for other hypotheses to the point that the comet will even bear her name. The two, urgently summoned to the White House, try to convince the president of the United States of the impending devastation, hoping that their dramatic appeal will mobilize the best scientific and military forces to decree the arrest or destruction of the celestial body.
The protagonists are not taken seriously and end up victims of an asphyxiating and insurmountable circus of power and prejudice, and even appealing to the main American media they encounter nothing but mockery, in a spiral of infotainment, derisive social campaigns, and media pillory. memes. But this is none other than the premise: the two find themselves at every step involved in a power game that gradually becomes bigger and more crushing, involuntarily becoming the bearers of a manipulative and conspiratorial political campaign.
Don't Look Up, McKay's social invective
Unlike the premise, Don't Look Up is a work capable of not taking itself seriously, written with the intelligence and irony of an author capable of transforming the drama into a pleasantly grotesque satire. In just over two hours of viewing, Adam McKay pours all his hatred towards American contradictions, into the glossy and double-dealing mask of politics, into the nakedness of an uncomfortable and omnipresent post-truth, into the realism of a parallel and possible present. He does it with writing capable of leaning on an indefinite number of stereotypes that are never banal and disproportionately current, albeit constantly over the top.
It does so, above all, with the faces of DiCaprio and Lawrence, who bring to the stage the only dramatic consciences of that deliberately ridiculous and sumptuous carousel that is the world, too busy being held with the head lowered in order not to look up at the heaven to track down the terrible and apocalyptic truth to come. Don't Look Up is a virtuous film not only in terms of narrative style and social and political invective but also in terms of form: McKay's is an eye that looks at the approach of planetary destruction with the love of the beholder. nature and its protagonists, really present in the staging with frequent and sudden interludes, but also of those who condemn a media catwalk made up of confirmation bias and misinformation.
With a frenetic editing and a direction able to enhance the disarming expressiveness of its actors, a first-rate cast which also includes Timothée Chalamet, Jonah Hill, and Ron Perlman. Pawns of a game told in a long story but punctuated by an almost perfect rhythm that will not make the almost two and a half hours of vision weigh at all.
Don't Look Up is an excellent film by Adam McKay, a shrewd and cutting invective against post-truth and the relationship between communication and power. A story that is not true, but really possible, which tells the contradictions of humanity deluded by the fascinating and bewitching patina of the media. A well-directed title, exceptionally interpreted and well written, which already goose with irreverent irony on the stereotypes of human behavior. Don't Look Up is a meme that mockingly looks at you from the screen of your smartphone, laughing at your prejudice and your certainties. Because, in short, it makes you laugh but it also makes you think.