Despite receiving mixed reviews from critics and audiences, Adam McKay’s latest film, Don’t Look Up, has been Netflix’s #1 film worldwide.
(Photo : Wikimedia Commons)
A Climate Change Metaphor
The film is a deliberate metaphor for the climate issue. Two scientists, represented by Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence, strive to warn an uninterested public about a comet that threatens to destroy the globe.
Despite a superb ensemble that includes Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, Mark Rylance, Jonah Hill, and Timothée Chalamet, many film reviewers, including this one, have given the picture a cold welcome.
The film’s metaphoric heroes, climate scientists, and campaigners had a pretty different reaction to the film’s tepid critical reception.
Sense of Urgency
(Photo : Getty Images)
The sense of urgency shown by the film’s scientists hit David Ritter, chief executive of Greenpeace Asia Pacific, who found the comparison with the climate catastrophe “extremely, very striking.”
“There are tens or hundreds of thousands of scientists, activists, and campaigners throughout the world who are dedicating their life to this effort,” Ritter added. “The overwhelming number of people who have questioned me… what is it about our political leaders that they don’t get?”
Don’t Look Up as a Film
Don’t Look Up was a “great film,” according to Prof Matthew England, co-founder of the Climate Change Research Centre at the University of New South Wales.
“It wonderfully parodies our inactivity on climate change,” England adds, “particularly in respect to conservative government and the mainstream media.”
“I enjoyed it, and I assume that many climate scientists feel the same way, although the mainstream media may be defensive because it is a target in the movie.”
Daniel Bleakley, a climate activist from Melbourne, concurred, saying he hoped the “excellent video” would bring attention to the media’s coverage of the climate catastrophe.
“If we truly want the general people to comprehend the gravity and urgency of the climate catastrophe, we need our media to communicate it properly.”
(Photo : Wikimedia Commons)
According to Bleakley, the movie captured climate campaigners’ frustration with their words falling on deaf ears for years.
“I’ve heard from a lot of activists who say that after seeing the video, they felt heard and recognized.”
“It’s almost bizarre as campaigners and climate scientists who genuinely grasp the severity, seriousness, and urgency of the climate catastrophe – and the reality that every day counts – to go throughout the world and witness people going about their everyday lives as if everything is normal.”
Ritter dismisses claims that the picture is lacking in complexity. “What were they talking about when they said it was so heavy-handed?” he inquires.
“Were they implying a subtle depiction of entrenched interests’ ability to damage the public good institutionally?” Were they discussing the dangers of unfettered techno-optimistic capitalism?”
“I thought it was particularly striking and evocative of how one experiences a world grappling with the climate crisis… the use of scenes of chaos and drama interspersed with the interaction of characters in a more quiet, reflective mode… I thought it was particularly striking and evocative of how one experiences a world grappling with the climate crisis.”
“Don’t believe what the critics say,” Ritter said. “Watch the movie and make your own decision.”
The review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes, Don’t Look Up now has a 55 percent approval rating and a 77 percent audience score.
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