THANK GOD IT’S FRIDAY
THE MOST ironic thing about a film intended as a satire – the Netflix megastar disaster set-in-the-stars tragicomedy Don’t Look Up – is that it won’t be taken seriously by the people who need most to hear its message. They will be laughing all the way to the mortuary. The comedy will subsume the tragedy whole, like the E coli in a bad doubles, and the viewer-who-will-not-see will have no idea that’s what he’s consumed until he feels its full effect. He will notice the fan only after that stuff has hit it.
The second most ironic thing about the movie is that a film intended to unify its viewers around a critically important theme – unity in the face of imminent existential threat – has already split the audience as to the film’s own worth, both as message and as movie. The none-so-blind will dismiss the film’s polemic with the old Frank Capra line, “If you want to send a message, go to Western Union,” and the attentive viewer weighing the film’s worth
qua film will have a handful of “on the other hands...”
And, for good Trinidadian measure, there is “a next irony” to make up the trilogy: the irony of one of the most powerful companies on the planet, a single entity that has already all but supplanted Hollywood itself, making a film pointing out the great danger of powerful companies with overpowering corporate identities and almost unlimited overreach (even if Netflix co-founder and formative former-CEO Reed Hastings looks like Che Guevara next to Jeff Bozo and Mark *uckerberg).
The irony becomes steely.
For what it’s worth, I think the movie is good, though not good enough to rise above the substantial ironies dragging it down; on balance, I’d give it a 50/50 on Metacritic myself.
But it begins to earn its weight in gold, or its runtime in bitcoin, after the last credit has rolled up. Excluding the arty-f--ty crowd, who will quarrel over everything from set and sound design to dialogue and direction, what you think about Don’t Look Up may reveal more about you than you’d like – to other people!
If you think it was the funniest movie you’ve seen since the last Adam Sandler movie you saw, you probably still aren’t reading this.
If your great disappointment was that you expected far more spectacular special effects, there’s probably no point in you reading any farther.
If you think it was a piece of something-other-than-master, and people shouldn’t watch this woke BS, you might as well continue reading as stop, since you won’t understand what you read anyway.
But here are a few yes-or-no questions to test if you got Don’t Look Up’s message:
Do you think the events of last January 6 at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, exactly a year ago yesterday, were a demonstration of the freedoms enshrined in the US constitution?
Do you think that anyone who calls Donald Trump a white supremacist or a fascist has Trump Derangement Syndrome?
Do you think either the PNM or the UNC can properly govern TT? Do you think one of them is better than the other?
Do you think Brexit was a good idea?
Do you think Brexit is still a good idea, except its benefits won’t be apparent for another ten, 20, 30, 40 or 50 years?
Do you think Brexit has always been a good idea but stupid firetrucking Re-moaners just never understood it because they were consumed by Project Fear?
Do you think the dangers of the vaccines are far greater than the dangers of the coronavirus in all of its mutations?
Do you ever use the term “lame-stream” media unironically?
Do you believe mandatory vaccination against covid19 is a greater threat to your personal freedom than a virus which turns your lungs to glass?
Do you think the BBC, Al-Jazeera and CNN are propaganda and you have to go to Fox News or the dark net to get the real story?
If you answer yes to even one of these questions, don’t bother to look up at a comet about to fall on your head or back at history about to repeat itself at your heels.
You won’t see a firetrucking thing.
BC Pires is apologising to anyone expecting the Old/New Year’s predictions column and foreseeing that it will appear next Friday