Don’t Look Up (Netflix)
Starring Leonardo DiCaprio ,Jennifer Lawrence , Rob Morgan, Jonah Hill, Mark Rylance, Tyler Perry, Timothée Chalamet, Ron Perlman, Ariana Grande, Scott Mescudi, Himesh Patel, Melanie Lynskey, Michael Chiklis, Tomer Sisley, Paul Guilfoyle, Robert Joy, Gary Tanguay, Cate Blanchett and Meryl Streep.
Written & Directed by Andrew McKay
Rating: ** ½
Not half as awful as the savage reviews suggest, Don’t Look Up is that oddball comedy about the end of the world which takes swiping potshots at the Establishment without any lasting impact.
Only in an American comedy as irreverent and savage as this would we have a young scientist played by Jennifer Lawrence(oddly listless)telling the moronic US President(Meryl Streep , doing a Trump in drag) that she didn’t vote for him, and boy, is she glad she didn’t!
If irreverence be the food of satire, then play on! … Don’t Look Up is just your poison. It is viciously anti-establishment and adroitly bang-on in its endeavour to bring down all the holy cows of the Establishment. While Streep is a scream as the tone-deaf Prez, Jonah Hill as the Chief Of Staff who happens, just happens, to be the Prez’ s son, is a riot of ambivalent ideology and scrambled priorities.
Taking the extreme view, the spoofy goofy film painstakingly takes down the governmental machinery, part by part, and exposes it for what it is : inept and brutally insensitive.
We get that. But once this pattern of exposing the dimwitted administration is established,a numbing monotony kicks into the satire which grows from tantalized to just plain tired.It’s as if the more noise the presentation makes, the less it deserves to be heard. After a point Don’t Look Up just continues to go around in exasperating circles. In fact, the last 45 minutes of the plot could easily be done away with.
By the time the highly-regarded Timothee Chalamet shows up for a spot of kissy-kissy with Jennifer Lawrence the film is more or less dead on survival.Speaking of intimacy, our Gujarati Himesh Patel(remember him from Danny Boyle’s Yesterday?) shows up early in the bustling self-important goings-on as Jennifer Lawrence’s slimy boyfriend named ‘Philip’. Not Indian, I presume?
There are some highpoints, though. Besides Streep who is the plot’s ‘Trump’ card, Leonardo diCaprio’s scruffy scientist’s act is enjoyable. His meltdown on a news channel is the cutoff point , after which the narration goes rapidly downhill. Cate Blachett as a predatory news anchor and specially Mark Rylance as a spaced-out philanthropist billionaire are sexily cocky in spurts.But I am not too sure such incentives add up to an experience worth expending our 190 minutes over. There is nothing earth-shattering about this satire on an earth-destroying comet. It takes savage swings at several sacred institutions of American democracy without hitting target.