Don’t Look Up (spoilers)

I rewatched Don’t Look Up yesterday afternoon, having watched it the first time over Christmas with my parents. It’s a very interesting Netflix film which seems to be splitting opinions. On the whole, Don’t Look Up struck me as quite a delicious satire, but I couldn’t help thinking that in reality the ESA would have blown the comet out of thee sky months before the yanks even spotted it! That is to say, it is a very Americano-centric film, where Americans are the chief players in a global crisis, and the rest of the world is completely forgotten about. Americans are the ones who first spot the impending doom and attempt (and fail) to find a solution to it, and the rest of us barely get a cameo. Of course, you can say that of any film like this (Deep Impact etc), but last night it really jarred.

Naturally, this film is supposed to be more American social satire than straight science fiction, so I suppose that focus is to be expected; but the way the film ignored the rest of humanity nonetheless grated. On the other hand, the film does what it sets out to do quite perfectly: as a comment on contemporary American culture, I don’t think you can get better. It is a delicious pastiche of Trumpism, american consumerism, and the control that a few rich white Americans have over the whole country. It is a commentary on American mainstream media, and their education system. It’s a witty, intelligent film; a comment on how, even when faced with unambiguous impending doom, some Americans still refuse to believe the reality in front of them. As a social commentary, it is great; I just wish it didn’t frame itself like America was the entire world. After all, while the whole satirical point of the film may be that it is the American desire to make money which ultimately causes the end of the world, that assumes viewers forgot that there are other cultures in the world, less focussed on capitalism and more focussed on securing our future.

One thought on “Don’t Look Up (spoilers)

  1. American films being Americano-centric is what we’ve become used to over the years. Watching Holywood’s output, you’d think America won the war, and all the other wars.
    I particularly liked George Monbiot’s piece in The Guardian on Don’t Look Up. Basically, he says that the film is exactly what climate scientists have to contend with.

    Liked by 1 person

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