When you consider how easy it is for us to access information and do a little digging to fact check and verify it, we’re quickly losing any excuse to be ignorant.
Netflix’s Don’t Look Up is a satirical fight against ignorant populations, and those who seek to keep them that way.
In the movie, two lesser-known astronomers (Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence) discover a comet hurtling toward earth that’s guaranteed to destroy the planet within the next seven months. Startled by their grim discovery, they embark on a media tour to warn the world, but find both the president (Meryl Streep) and the public aren’t being swayed by the irrefutable evidence they’ve found about what’s to come.
As the scientists try to enlighten people, they come up against the thinly-veiled agendas of big tech – and the politicians in their pockets – who are intentionally redirecting public attention away from the impending crisis for their own benefit.
The film has been self-described by director Adam Mackay as one that portrays the politicisation of the global warming dilemma, and as a parody of our “distracted inaction” around climate change. Its lead Leonardo’s DiCaprio is outspoken about his views on environmental sustainability, and actor Jonah Hill has used the movie’s promotional circuit to talk about his views on the issue (as well as Meryl Streep not knowing that when he was calling her “the GOAT” on set he meant “the greatest of all time” and not that she was a farm animal).
Although, while the climate change debate may be the key metaphor in Don’t Look Up, its intent easily relates to any time you’ve felt yourself shouting into the wind about an issue that’s so clearly pressing, or a truth that seems so clearly necessary to know.
Its intent easily relates to any time you’ve felt yourself shouting into the wind about an issue that’s so clearly pressing.
In the Bible, God warns us often about ignorance. Namely, how it affects our relationship to Him and why, despite His existence being so clearly evident in creation, many still deny it.
Ephesians 4:18 says ignorance comes from a hardness of heart that alienates us from God, and in Romans 1:19-20 we’re told we have “no excuse” for not recognising God – given He’s made so much of Himself plain to us.
We’re told we have “no excuse” for not recognising God – given He’s made so much of Himself plain to us.
Whether you’re a scientist trying to get politicians to heed the earths’ warnings about its longevity, or a Christian trying to invite people to see a loving God who’s so readily available to them, Don’t Look Up captures the intense frustration of being ignored, denied or having your views belittled.
Don’t Look Up captures the intense frustration of being ignored, denied or having your views belittled.
Faith, in fact, gets an interesting wrap in Don’t Look Up: it’s both used by the president to manipulate her audience into denying the truth of what scientists are presenting to them and also anchors one of the most sincere moments in the movie when characters realise the end really is nigh and they’ve got to choose how to face it.
Whatever lens you view Don’t Look Up through, it’s a masterful satire that at times underutilises its cast, but still manages to painfully reflect on the idiosyncrasies that are a detriment to mankind.
Whatever lens you view Don’t Look Up through, it’s a masterful satire…
Don’t Look Up is streaming now on Netflix. Rated M. IMDb Parents Guide