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'Don't Look Up' Review: Mckay's disaster film is sharp and full of alarming situations

'Don't Look Up' might be a comedy, but when you realize the meaning behind those funny situations, you'll know how alarming they are
Jonah Hill, Leonardo DiCaprio, Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lawrence in 'Don't Look Up' (Netflix)
Jonah Hill, Leonardo DiCaprio, Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lawrence in 'Don't Look Up' (Netflix)

We are in the second last week of 2021 and it’s only fair that movie lovers end the year with a bang. We saw a lot of amazing movies this year. From big-budget superhero movies to small-budget dramas, 2021 gave everyone something to cherish for. But when it comes to ending the year on a high, everyone was expecting a movie that will completely blow their minds. So, it’s Netflix that has taken the responsibility of treating viewers with one of the most highly-anticipated titles of the year ‘Don’t Look Up’.

The movie has been creating a lot of buzz since its inception, mainly for the man who was directing and then the super awesome cast that was revealed a few months later after the film’s announcement. Helmed by Adam McKay, the story revolves around the duo of Dr. Randall (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence) who have discovered an astounding that’s going to change the future of the planet. What would be your reaction if you find something like that? The logical option would be to report it to the government and find some ways to curb the danger. What if, you tell the government and they don’t take you seriously? Then, we are doomed and that’s the entire premise of the movie.


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Randall, an astronomy professor, and Kate, one of his PhD students, do everything that they could to warn the government about the comet that could destroy the entire planet. However, due to upcoming elections, the President of the United States Janie Orlean (Meryl Streep), and his son, who is also the Chief of Staff, Jason (Jonah Hill), don’t take the threat seriously and they tell them to “sit tight and assess” the situation. What we see next is a funny yet riveting journey of how two people are trying to tell the world that you can be saved if proper measures are taken.

Jennifer Lawrence (Kate) and Leonardo DiCaprio (Dr. Randall) in 'Don't Look Up' (Netflix)

The best and most harrowing thing about the movie is its subject. I mean, we have heard “the world is coming to an end” so many times, that it doesn’t sound alarming now. But the way McKay has tried to tell a serious story in such a fun way, you begin to realize how big of a problem it actually is and how scientists are ridiculed day after day for the work they do. Randall and Kate go to television shows, music concerts, and everywhere they could to create pressure on the government, but every time they did it, they were taken “off the grid” by the President.

For a movie that’s 2 hours 18 minutes long, you’ll never feel that you are getting bored. Everything you learn and every situation you see makes you wonder if the government would stoop so low that it’ll try to destroy your life and career. Now, the way it’s shown is funny, but when you realize why it’s been done, you get to know the real meaning behind the story.

Leonardo DiCaprio has once again given a masterclass in acting. In one scene, where he bashes the government for how it is tackling the situation will make you want to stand up and just applaud. He might be on his way to getting a seventh Best Actor nomination. On the other hand, the return of Jennifer Lawrence is stunning. After a two-year hiatus, J-Law returns with full force and gives a performance that is brilliant in every way. Her character is emotional and fierce at the same time. She knows the magnitude of the problem, so she never shies away from bashing people who don’t take it seriously.

A still from 'Don't Look Up' (Netflix)

Meanwhile, the Queen of Hollywood, Meryl Streep is just wonderful as President Orlean. Whenever you see her on the screen, you’ll think that’s exactly how the President would react when something dramatic comes up and could take his or her chair in the Oval Office. Jonah Hill, Rob Morgan, and Mark Rylance have done a phenomenal job in their respective roles and they only take the movie higher.

On the other hand, Cate Blanchett and Tyler Perry have great chemistry as TV show hosts. Splendid acting by both stars.

‘Don’t Look Up’ might not be everybody’s cup of tea and surely, there will be many who might not like it, but once they realize how real the problem is and the meaning behind some of the funny situations, they will absolutely love the movie.

Adam McKay’s ‘Don’t Look Up’ is a timely reminder that we are sitting ducks and a tragedy is just around the corner. Can we do something to evade it? Sadly, the current answer is NO. But we still have time to do something, so let’s not waste time.

‘Don’t Look Up’ is a brilliant watch and is filled with extraordinary performances.
The movie is currently streaming on Netflix.