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Should you Watch, Don't Look Up (2021) | Review

My Initial Thoughts

When I first watched Don’t Look Up (2021) it was on New Years Day, I can confidently say it was the wrong film choice to start off the new year. My initial thoughts were that the movie was overtly high brow, condescending and heavy handed. I thought it was a clunky attempt at sending an important message and lost all its credibility. Although, in saying that, after revisiting the film I can confidently say my opinions have changed. I was able to approach the film a second time with a new understanding and expectation of what I was in for and that truly shifted my opinions from negative to positive.

Acting

Staring Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence as the two astronomers who discover the huge meteor hurtling towards Earth. Alongside a star studded cast of familiar faces who all add their own touch to the overall narrative. Jennifer Lawrence was by far the stand out for me. She played her role of Kate with a real sense of warmth, venerability and relatability, she was the only character who felt truly real. DiCaprio was also strong, as he always is but he was overshadowed by his strange and quirky character choices. Also, shout out to Timothee Chalamet, who originally felt like the most ridiculous addition to the cast but upon a second look his character was mediocre enough to become genuinely likeable.

Thoughts on Story

Don’t Look Up (2021) is a biting satire that directly addresses the real problem of denying a solvable crisis, essentially taking a political stand point to discuss climate change. The films message and intention is one I agree with and during my second viewing I was far more engaged with the intention of director Adam McKay’s message. Described as a comedy but more of a parody, this film showcases how politicians, the media and the public ignore the reality of a giant comet destined to hit earth and extinguish all life on the planet. This is not an easy watch, if you tend to over analyse the storyline can make you have an existential crisis but, if you simply appreciate the intention and the message this film is intelligent and extremely politically charged.

Execution:

Don’t Look Up (2021) can’t stop the burning ball of politics that smacks you in the face as soon it begins and personally, I liked it. I like films that course a stir, that make people angry and make you reflect on your decisions in life. The execution of this film could have easily been better, for a start cutting out a few of the overused star-spangled cast cameos but I appreciated the comedic approach and the attempt to lighten such a dark and disturbing subject matter. McKay tried very hard to make this film a turning point in politics and change the way people think but sadly, I think it just made a lot of people angry rather than reflective.


Overall, this film has slowly grown on me. I appreciate the story and I respect the attempt to make a divisive piece of cinema which will divide the population. Something that Brian Cox said really allowed me to resonate with this movie on a deeper level, ”How do we compete with all the noise in our civilisation… are you really more interested in the private lives of your favourite celebrity than you are in the protection of intelligent life in a galaxy of 400 billion stars. Are you really more concerned about that?” Think about that and maybe give this movie another go. Don’t be angered by it, be inspired by it.

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Welcome to Film Probe, a platform where I have dedicated my time and energies to reviewing films, tv and more. I pride myself on offering more than just an opinion, but rather a carefully crafted insight into the film's themes, characters, and overall production.

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