The Hollywood film industry has an invaluable appreciation for the sci-fi genre – and the disaster movie subgenre. In this century alone, titles like “Final Destruction – The Last Refuge”, “The Day After” and “2012” have dominated theaters and fallen in the public interest, even if they have not always worked. And now, it’s time for director Adam McKay, responsible for the acclaimed titles “Vice” and “The Big Bet”, to provide his own perspective on the aforementioned genre with the sci-fi satire “Don’t Look Up”.
The ambitious project centers on two astronomers named Randall Mindy (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence) who discover a dangerous meteor en route to Earth – and with gigantic destruction potential. In a rush to alert responsible authorities, Randall and Kate are faced with the controversial denial of US President Janie Orlean (Meryl Streep), the superficiality of the mainstream media, and the inexplicable uprising of people who simply chose not to. not believe in the impending disaster. . And, despite a few bumps throughout the long production (which almost collides with the two-and-a-half-hour mark), the result is fun, bizarre, and in sync with the proposition that has been embraced from the first few minutes.
Do not look (from left to right) CATE BLANCHETT as BRIE EVANTEE, TYLER PERRY as JACK BREMMER, LEONARDO DICAPRIO as DR. RANDALL MINDY, JENNIFER LAWRENCE as KATE DIBIASKY, Cr. NIKO TAVERNISE / NETFLIX © 2021
McKay has a very particular and unique style of directing his works and does not hesitate to restructure the formulas of contemporary cinema. Since “A Grande Aposta”, the director has imagined a directing technique that mixes fiction and reality in a sort of deconstructed documentary, guided by the abrupt editing and superimposition of images to achieve a goal – and of course he will do the same. thing with ‘Don’t Look Up’. The main object of study is the characters and how each of them is conditioned to the social type it represents: we have the political representative lived majestically by Streep (in a symbolic irony to the retrograde and nepotist figure of the former -President Donald Trump); media sensationalism reflected in the presence of presenters Brie Evantee (Cate Blanchett) and Jack Bremmer (Tyler Perry); the ultra-exhilaration of personalities’ private lives, like the relationship between Riley Bina (Ariana Grande) and DJ Chello (Kid Cudi); and many more.
The main criticism comes from the sarcastic analysis of predatory capitalism and the false sense that the people are supported by those they elect as leaders. As the characters of DiCaprio and Lawrence struggle to get people to the truth, more complex issues prevent them from alerting the public – in short, spreading panic is not profitable for the huge corporation buried at the heart of the US government. and of all the actors who do it, part of this gigantic enterprise. Janie only realizes she needs to act when her campaign is threatened and when she needs to regain the confidence of her constituents to secure another term. Masked concern reflects an incomprehensible distrust of science, as if unfounded opinions are enough to disprove the credibility of scholars.
DO NOT LOOK FOR, MERYL STREEP as PRESIDENT JANIE ORLEAN. Cr. NIKO TAVERNISE / NETFLIX © 2021
Like Kate and Randall, viewers who buy the McKay-sold story are transported on a roller coaster of indignation and resignation to forces they cannot control – a theme of chilling relevance to what we face today. Amid so much fake news about vaccination and the work of healthcare professionals, ranging from lies about side effects to attacks on social minorities, the director and screenwriter elevates this collective imbecility to the Fortieth Power, sketching shady dialogues that conflict with the tragic drama that lurks. between the lines. Even Kate’s ex-boyfriend lessens her frustration and treats her like a hysterical person who has no idea what she’s talking about.
The playful weight can be rowdy – and that’s the main issue with the feature film. In addition to the theme mentioned in the paragraphs above, McKay makes occasional inflections on gender disparity and gas lighting, or else restriction of expression and heightened patriotism (seen with Ron Pearlman’s character , Benedict Drask). Ultimately, the subplots seem to merge in a desperate attempt to say it all at once and ultimately fail to tap into the multiple messages that emerge in the production. The possibilities are there, but maybe more careful editing and plot selection would make the movie a little lighter and even more fun than it already is.
DON’T LOOK FOR, JENNIFER LAWRENCE as KATE DIBIASKY. Cr. NIKO TAVERNISE / NETFLIX © 2021
While certain technical and aesthetic choices may not appeal to the public, ‘No Look Up’ is a very enjoyable adventure that throws a poignant light on the future of humanity itself – not in relation to the threat of a commit with annihilating potential, but in segregation which is motivated by lack of faith in science and excessive ambition. With overwhelming performances and a sense of desolation following us through to the closing credits, Netflix’s new feature is a morbid and noble statement that sometimes it’s easier to accept fate than to fight it.
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