Wide screen devices may view this page better by clicking here

12 January 2022

Facebook   Twitter

Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Film: 'Don't Look Up'

An entertaining satire on corporate power and the US establishment

Saving the world means taking on capitalism! photo Netflix

Saving the world means taking on capitalism! photo Netflix   (Click to enlarge)

Reviewed by Niall Mulholland

The movie satire, 'Don't Look Up', became a major hit over the Christmas holiday season. The dark comedy, written and directed by Adam McKay, concerns a desperate attempt by scientists to alert the US establishment about a huge meteorite set to hit the Earth, with catastrophic consequences.

As well as sending up the Trump-like political establishment and its anti-scientific views, the movie also attacks the billionaire-owned media and big corporations.

The film has struck a chord with millions of people who fear the consequences of climate change. It also resonates with many people who rightly consider the woeful Covid policies of many governments as culpable in the deaths of millions.

Yet 'Don't Look Up' has divided opinion, including on the left. Some pan it as too heavy-handed and preaching (which it can be, on occasions). Others admire the movie assailing the political establishment's obedience to short-term corporate profit-making, that means scientists' warnings about global warming are ignored or played down.

When the film's two main characters, the scientists Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence) and Dr Randall Mindy (Leonardo DiCaprio), warn US President Janie Orlean (Meryl Streep) that the comet will hit Earth in just over six months and destroy life, they are blithely told: "We'll sit tight and assess".

Frantic to let the world know of the impending disaster, and ignored by serious media, Dibiasky and Mindy appear on the banal The Daily Rip, whose hosts, Brie Evantee (Cate Blanchett) and Jack Bremmer (Tyler Perry), belittle the danger.

At the same time, a menacing figure, Peter Isherwell (brilliantly played by Mark Rylance), the billionaire head of the BASH corporation, convinces President Orlean that instead of deploying nuclear arms to destroy the meteorite, BASH mining the comet for its minerals takes priority.

While Mindy is temporarily seduced by the BASH plan and his celebrity status, Dibiasky manages to let the world know that the White House puts profits before planet. The masses are polarised between those who believe the scientific warnings and those who follow the White House advice to ignore doomsayers. "Don't look up!" is the rallying cry of the demented right at mass rallies, even as the comet can be seen hurtling towards Earth.

Don't Look Up is an entertaining movie with an urgent message, a fine acting cast and has some very strong scenes. Its main strength is highlighting impending environmental disaster and how big business and the main American political parties are part of the problem not the solution.

While a fictional movie about environmental catastrophe is not obliged to provide a worked-out programmatic solution, the main weakness with Don't Look Up lies in the representation of the masses as too fatalistic and easily manipulated by right-wing demagogues. Surely the clock ticking down towards Earth's oblivion would provoke uprisings and revolutions, as the masses sought to find a way to remove incompetent, profit-driven administrations and to save humanity and the planet?

Notwithstanding its flaws, Don't Look Up speaks to a young radicalised generation who fear what the future holds when governed by a degenerate ruling class and politicians who put profit above all else.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 12 January 2022:


News

Super-rich get richer, while we can't make ends meet. Join the fightback!

Blow to establishment as jury backs Colston Four

Covid, stress and cutbacks fuel school staff shortages

Tories concede under cladding pressure but don't go far enough

Low pay, stress and Covid drive: NHS staff crisis

Shameless Johnson partied through lockdown

Energy price crisis: nationalise energy giants to save us from £600 hit

Energy bosses: 'Jump, cuddle and eat porridge while we raise prices'


Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan: Working-class revolt only suppressed by massive mobilisation of troops

Solidarity with workers protesting in Kazakhstan


Campaigns news

Protests against BBC transphobia

Leeds People's Budget: We beat council cuts before, we will again

Communities fight back against Rio Tinto mine

North London NHS - "It's going to be us who saves it"

Southampton student vote for online exams must be accepted


Workplace news

Coventry bin workers' pay strike

10,000 tube workers vote to strike over jobs, terms and pension cuts

East Mids rail conductors force concessions, train managers' dispute continues

Carmarthenshire gritters take action as Plaid-led council reneges on agreement

Jobcentre Coronavirus outbreak leads to reps meeting call

South Yorkshire bus strikes spreading and getting stronger

Weetabix workers defeat 'fire and rehire' and ballot on improved pay offer

Invergordon Royal Mail mutiny wins


Reviews

Don't Look Up: An entertaining satire on corporate power and the US establishment

Anne: Hillsborough and the fight for justice

Money Heist: A Robin Hood tale set in modern-day capitalism


Readers' opinion

War criminal Tony Blair knighted

Bullying weighing room culture at the races

Free prescriptions? Maybe when you're older


Obituaries

Obituary - Pauline Wall

Obituary - Ethan Bradley 1993-2021


 

Home   |   The Socialist 12 January 2022   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Film:

triangleFilm review: The Harder They Fall

triangleTV Review - Help: Heart-wrenching portrayal of Covid care home crisis

triangleFilm Review: Martin Eden

triangleFilm review: Nomadland

triangleFilm Review: Moxie

US:

triangleNorth London NHS - "It's going to be us who saves it"

triangleEnergy price crisis: nationalise energy giants to save us from 600 hit

triangleAssange faces extradition

triangleThe legacy of the collapse of Stalinism

Profit:

triangleSexism, safety and the profit system

triangleEnd profit-fuelled crisis

triangleFamine in Madagascar

Media:

triangleTV Review: GB News

triangleStop the Channel 4 sell-off!

Article dated 12 January 2022

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

MEMBER RESOURCES

Pay in Fighting Fund

Pay in paper and book sales

Leaflets

Bulk book orders

New member submission

WHAT'S ON

triangle18 Jan Cardiff West Socialist Party: Racism in the police - the fight for justice for the Cardiff 3

triangle18 Jan Caerphilly and RCT Socialist Party: Where is Britain going?

triangle19 Jan York & North Yorkshire TUSC people's budget meeting

More...


The Socialist, weekly newspaper of the Socialist Party

News

Kazakhstan

Campaigns news

Workplace news

Reviews

Readers' opinion

Obituaries

Subscribespacer|spacerebook / Kindlespacer|spacerPDF versionspacer|spacerText / Printspacer|spacer1162 onlinespacer|spacerBack issuesspacer|spacer Audio files


Coventry bin workers on strike, January 2022, photo by Dave Nellist

Socialist Party members joined the picket lines of striking bin workers in Coventry fighting for better pay. January 2022

What We Stand For
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Platform setting: =

Desktop version