Courtesy alert: mega spoilers ahead!
It’s been a little over a month since Netflix’s New Big Movie has hit (pun intended) and the general consensus is that even if you didn’t like it personally, it’s still being talked about. I sat down for a feel-good movie-thon with my husband on the couch and what I got was a bundle of raw nerves strewn about, a couple of nightmares, existential panic, then, acceptance. It definitely got my attention.
I remember walking into work the next day and telling people about it. “Don’t watch it if you don’t want to be a puddle of nervous energy on the floor,” I told them. I wanted to protect them from the nagging feeling in my gut that Something Bad Was Going To Eventually Happen. I decided initially that because the movie made me feel things, and I mean REALLY feel them, like fear, and irritation and most of all, an impending sense of doom, I was going to write it off and dislike it. Simple enough, right?
In yet another sleepless night, I sat there, tossing and turning, picturing the look on Jennifer Lawrence’s face right before the comet inevitably hit the earth, walls and floors shaking, realizing that her life, along with billions of other peoples’ lives, was over. It was infuriating. They could have prevented it. They fought, and they lost. Much less, they lost to publicity, politics, to arrogance, and worst of all, to ignorance.
If you haven’t seen the movie yet, I really do recommend it, just be prepared, it’s going to rock your world. (Get it? Okay, I’ll stop with the puns.) The synopsis on Netflix doesn’t even prepare you for what you’re about to see:
Two astronomers go on a media tour to warn humankind of a planet-killing comet hurtling toward Earth.
Well, it sort of gives you the idea.
What it doesn’t tell you is that you’re going to agonize with JLaw and Leonardo DiCaprio about the impending comet and wonder why, why there isn’t something being done? Sure, there were two measly plans to abominate the massive flying rock, but they were halfhearted efforts, at best. How can the POTUS be concerned with reelection campaigning if there won’t be a planet in existence? How is it, that even with Ariana Grande singing about the comet that is “Right There” are there so many that are not calling for change? Are we really that preoccupied with our lives?
I’ve got some bad news for all of you: we already are.
As a former climate-change denier myself, (I’ve reformed my views, but that’s another article for another day) I can see how ‘Don’t Look Up’ calls attention to the bigger issues that we have on this planet. It makes me think: are we really doing everything we can to take care of our planet? We have bigger fish to fry than politics unfortunately, and they’re knocking on our front door.
Science, as its shown in the movie, is raw and unemotional. It doesn’t care how we may or may not feel about it, it’s not always digestible like the entertainment that we like to consume, nor is it always easy to understand. Not everyone likes how things wind up because of science, but I find that Science’s brutal honesty is refreshing. It is, after all, the fabric of everything in the universe. It plays by its own rules, that is, until it doesn’t.
So why are we ignoring the issues? Why is the ocean filling up with more of our trash, fossil fuels burning through the ozone layer, and bulldozing nature as it was intended? Don’t take me for a fool, I know there is a housing crisis. But there are other ways to handle these issues. While we should always be concerned about outer space and what it means when we come face to face with it, we should also be looking closer to home. Don’t Look Up makes us uncomfortably aware that there really are bigger problems than we realize, and they aren’t going to go away just because they aren’t easy to fix.
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