Don´t Loook Up: when Byung-Chul Han found Hollywood
If Byung Chul Han were a screenwriter, perhaps he would surprise us with a Mckey's humor style.
The film does not reveal anything new about our lifestyle, but it is a mirror, neat and necessary, that manages to portray collective cynicism like few works. The bizarre humor that he handles thus becomes a profound postmodern critique.
What are its theoretical pillars and why could it be Byong Chul Han's film?
Savage capitalism clothed in happiness, to the very last consequences. A political class kneeling to opinion polls, sexual drive and the spectacularization of everything. The show as a mechanism of good guys and bad guys reveals an interesting realism. Unsung heroes with a truth that no one hears, how many of us believe we have a truth that will never be heard? Those who lead the technology corporations appear as true gurus of the future, the power behind the power, with their superficial speeches of "live for the moment, consume now and why suffer", just as powerless as all the rest. The anesthetized society is the generator of memes itself, with the same power that the 1940s fascist dictators developed their propaganda. Internet has been far from the democratic promise of knowledge, and is more a decapitated, accelerated fascism: heads that consume without feet.
The film is long but very well run, perhaps, because of the well done characters. The bad: they are polarized. The bad guys are really bad, like Disney characters, capable of forgetting even the love of a son. The good ones return home to die with their loved ones, even to pray, ask for forgiveness, are forgiven. The ending is predictable.
The script repeats itself in the nervous breakdowns, first by Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence) and then by Dr. Randall Mindy (Leonardo Di Caprio).
There is a running gag that works well and in the orbit of the film: showing that power is obscene, when an army colonel charges them for a snack that is free at the Casa Rosada, and Kate spends the entire film wondering why she has done. She ultimately concludes that she's only doing it because she knew they'd find out it was free. It is a perversion and that is power.
For all these reasons, it is perhaps a better review than a film, which is pure entertainment at the risk of being easily forgotten. Commercial (because criticizing power no longer bothers anyone, except when it does make visible power), spectacular and with movie stars. The Hollywood formula but -this time- without that share of princess love (which is appreciated) and less conventional stereotypes. A Netflix movie that seems to have fallen into the fast food trap of postmodernity that hits: we already forgot about it.