Netflix hit: why is Don't Look Up such a success?

In the new Netflix film Don't Look Up, two astronomers warn humanity that an asteroid is hurtling towards Earth, but hardly anyone listens. Many reviewers find the star-studded black comedy too heavy-handed as a parable about the climate crisis, but Europe's press says the film hits the nail on the head.

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Der Spiegel (DE) /

Relevance beats aesthetics

As many film critics complain, the movie is rather clumsy, but that's besides the point, Der Spiegel insists:

“The world needs this film. And as many others like it as possible: as brutal as possible, as easy to understand as possible, with as much star power as possible. Entertaining, but not gentle. Because a film being too crude in its portrayal of how the world is currently manoeuvring itself into a disaster when that is in fact the case may be a relevant objection from an aesthetic point of view, but not otherwise if it works for the audience. Sorry but relevance beats aesthetics and subtlety when it comes to the future of the Earth.”

Phileleftheros (CY) /

An allegory for real life

The coronavirus crisis proves the film right, Phileleftheros applauds:

“The script accurately depicts the times we live in. ... And for those who have doubted in the past that we would not stand together in the face of a catastrophe and look for a solution, our way of dealing with the pandemic provides them with the answer they need. ... The film is an allegory. Whether we're talking about the pandemic, climate change or anything that can destroy us, the idea is the same. The chances of success are slim. We lose ourselves in arguments as the end of the world approaches - just like in Don't Look Up.”

Magyar Hírlap (HU) /

Only heaven can help

The film's nihilism is outrageous, but also fitting, Magyar Hírlap believes:

“This is precisely why this film is a must-see. On the basis of an unfortunately very realistic finding, it invokes in a perfidious and destructive way the idea that man's entire existence is aimless and meaningless, and that for that very reason it's hopeless to believe in anything or hope for anything. ... A dark and deceitful film about a world that has been pushed into darkness and lies. Humanity, look up to the heavens!”