By: Ally Hudson
With the recent release of Adam Mckay’s new film, “Don’t Look Up”, many people are talking about the underlying meaning behind it and how similar it is to our lives right now. The film stars Leonardo DeCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence as Mindy and Kate, two low-level astronauts. They discover a comet that is heading straight for Earth, and they recognize the importance of this comet and decide to tell the White House. You would think this is the right move considering the White House has a lot of power, but this is not the case. President Orlean, played by Meryl Streep, downplays the danger regarding the comet because she’s dealing with her own affairs. She only turns on and listens to the news when her life turns into a scandal. Instead of implementing a safe and effective way to throw the comet off track, her idea is to drill it for resources. It supposedly contains trillions of dollars worth of resources that would benefit the elite class, which she is a member of. The idea is solely based on the benefits and not what the outcome can be. This ultimately impacts the whole world even though it was only one person’s reckless decision.
WHY THEY WON’T LOOK UP
Many of the people are in disbelief as to what’s happening. They don’t want to think of the result and what it means for humanity. Mindy and Kate have a few opportunities to share and spread the word about the comet. Many people aren’t taking it seriously and brushing it off. Orlean starts a campaign called “Don’t Look Up.” It’s telling other Americans to pretend the comet doesn’t exist. This is closely related to how there are some campaigns that promote how climate change isn’t real and that the vaccine doesn’t work. The irony of the comet being turned into a campaign is revealed when Kate visits her parents only for them to be pro-comet. They want President Orleans to drill the comet for resources and job opportunities despite the risk. This is intentionally an allegory for people who believe mining for coal, offshore drilling, and oil pipelines creates jobs that raise all boats. Even with job creation projects, there is still income inequality. Some individuals might say, people who support policies that harm the Earth are digging their world’s own grave.
THE ULTIMATE RESULT
On the day the comet is headed for Earth they launch a drill that will split the comet into a more manageable size. The idea was to retrieve the small pieces from the ocean and use it. When this plan goes sideways there is nothing else to do to stop it. This outcome is the result of taking the complex way out instead of staying simple. We are facing the same challenges in our modern world with what to do about climate change and the pandemic. It’s unfair to leave future generations to deal with the consequences of our actions. The film Don’t Look Up asks us to think about what it takes to work together. Will we take action or let our own egos destroy the planet? We may have the intelligence, means, and technology to do so, but it’s our instincts that get in the way.