Don’t Look Up: Why The General Charges For Free Snacks

In Netflix’s Don’t Look Up, General Themes charges for free snacks in the White House and Jenniffer’s Lawrence’s Kate Dibiasky can’t get over it.

While Netflix’s Don’t Look Up is largely focused on a planet-killing comet coming to end the world, Astronomer Kate Dibiasky can’t get over that she and Dr. Randall Mindy were charged for free food by a general from the Pentagon. Despite the literal earth-shattering news and the panic Kate (Jennifer Lawrence) feels, she still goes back to the moment with the general multiple times throughout the film, serving as one of the movie’s best running gags. However, the reason why the general did it in the first place is likely a humorous commentary on a much bigger societal issue.

Near the beginning of Don’t Look Up after the comet is discovered by Dibiasky, she and Dr. Mindy (Leonardo DiCaprio) are flown to the White House to report their findings to United States President Janie Orlean (Meryl Streep). However, they end up waiting for hours, long after their agreed meeting time. In the interim, the Pentagon’s General Themes offers them snacks and water he claims cost him $10 apiece, and they pay him back. However, after the night gets too late and the general leaves, Kate discovers that the food was free the entire time. This leads to a hilarious running joke where every few scenes Kate is still grappling with why the general would do something like that. note: Don’t Look Up (2021) kostenloses deutsches Streaming

At one point in Don’t Look Up, Kate is talking with Yule (Timothée Chalamet) about how it must have been some kind of power play, seeing as how the general likely didn’t need the money. Furthermore, he must have known that Kate would have eventually found out that the food was free. In all likelihood, the general charging for free food is certainly in line with the film’s core message about the rich and powerful taking whatever they want simply because they can, regardless of the consequences or impact on the greater good. In the case of the general, charging for free food is seemingly insignificant, but it serves as a microcosm of the grander issues and commentary at play about rampant greed.

Case in point, the United States had a chance to blow up the comet before it made an impact, breaking it up into smaller pieces to make the event survivable. However, when wealthy tech CEO Peter Isherwell wants to collect trillions of dollars worth of rare minerals from the comet, the mission is aborted and replaced with his own (which ultimately fails and destroys the world at the end of Don’t Look Up). While the Pentagon general charging for free food is of course on a much smaller scale with minimal consequences, the same principle of careless greed is at hand. note: The Last Duel (2021) kostenloses deutsches Streaming

In any case, Kate’s reaction and inability to let it go provides the film’s best running joke, providing key moments of levity in a film that is largely depressing when the humor is taken away. The free food gag helps convey Don’t Look Up’s core messaging in a truly hilarious way, while also speaking to one of the largest societal issues in the film and the real world it’s satirizing: people being greedy regardless of how it affects others. Don’t Look Up is now streaming on Netflix. note: Dune (2021) kostenloses deutsches Streaming