Scott Z. Burns, the creator of Contagion, has developed a new anthology series titled Extrapolations. This series follows various characters as they confront the changing climate in a near-future world. Every episode is set in a different year, the first being 2037 and the last being 2070. Many of the characters that are introduced in the first episode reappear in later episodes, whereas others are only present for a single episode. Here is the full review of the movie. Check it out!
#1. Extrapolations: The Gist
Opening Shot: An illuminated photo of the earth. A young woman (Yara Shahidi) steps on the photo, and starts to talk about climate change, to be broadcast via hologram to protesters in Tel Aviv and elsewhere. In 2037, the planet’s average temperature has gone beyond the 1.5 degree Celsius increase negotiated at the Paris accords in the 2010, and now nations have to figure out strategies to keep things from going even higher. A climate change conference going on in Tel Aviv attracts the protesters mentioned above, who are there to object to the nations that are there dealing with tech bigwigs like Alpha Corporation owner Nick Bilton (Kit Harington).
But he also has patents to desalination technology that some of the drought-stricken nations at the conference desperately need. Omar Haddad (Tahar Rahim), representing Algeria, doesn’t want to horse trade with Bilton for open access to the technology, but feels he may have to.
In the meantime, a developer named Junior (Matthew Rhys) is working with Bilton on a major casino construction project in an unusual spot: Above a polar glacier that has broken up due to climate change. He goes there with his pop star girlfriend Hannah (Heather Graham) to schmooze the representatives of Russia, China and other countries that are currently stationed there. But when he gets there, he finds other countries have set up mining operations. What he doesn’t know is that Bilton is negotiating a mining deal behind his back, especially with the need for minerals for battery manufacturing at an all-time high.
In Israel, new rabbi Marshall Zucker (Daveed Diggs) wants to dedicate himself to the congregation where he’s just been hired, but his father Ben (Peter Riegert), wants him to take a job at his Miami synagogue, especially after the money he contributed. “That’s how the world works,” he tells Marshall. At Marshall’s first service, his mother (Leslie Uggams), who was in favor of him staying in Israel, collapses and hits her head; Marshall is dismayed that Ben continues to negotiate the polar deal with his business partner Junior, even as his wife is lying paralyzed in a hospital bed.
Wildfires are raging all over the planet, including in Israel and the US. Rebecca Shearer (Sienna Miller) works for the Parks Service, trying to make sure vanishing animal species aren’t destroyed by these fires. She’s also pregnant; the poor air quality and stress involved with a fire she’s working in causes her to go into labor early. Her husband, Omar Haddad, cuts off his time at the Tel Aviv conference to join her, which leads to a deal with Bilton that gives up way too much ground for his desalinization technology.
#2. Extrapolations Review: Worth Watching Or Not?
When you have an anthology series that’s jam-packed with as many stars as Extrapolations is, you start to wonder if the stories that are going to be told are going to be actually good stories or just acting showcases for those stars. Extrapolations offers a little bit of both, depending on the episode.
Since the first episode follows four different sets of characters, its message is like a sledgehammer, because there’s no time to explore the issues surrounding climate change with any sort of subtlety. The world is literally on fire in the first episode, and the holograms are egging on the protesters with language that isn’t inflammatory but certainly strong. Glaciers are melting, hundreds of thousands of species are disappearing, wide swaths of the planet are dry.
Source: Pop Sugar
It’s a message that needs to be heard, as that’s where we’re headed. It also needs to be heard that there are people like Junior, Bilton and Ben Zucker who don’t believe in climate change or don’t care enough to let it get in the way of a massive business deal. But the first episode zings so quickly from location to location that it sacrifices its characters at the altar of the message.
The second episode, taking place in 2046, is better because it concentrates on Miller’s character Rebecca Shearer, who is now working for a large wildlife nonprofit and using new technology to communicate with one of the last humpback whales on the planet. She’s given the translation of the whale’s bleating a familiar voice, that of her late mother, Eve (Meryl Streep). She also has to deal with the “summer heart” her 9-year-old son has, partly due to his prematurity, partly due to the environment; she plays videos of Eve reading, made expressly for her son.
When Burns slows things down, the message doesn’t overwhelm the characters. Oh, don’t get us wrong: That message is still there. Rebecca’s job is to find the “last one” of disappearing species in order to foster their preservation, but species are disappearing faster than she and her colleagues can manage. But it also gives us time to delve into Rebecca’s relationship with Eve as well as the difficulties the next generation are facing due to the unrelenting pace of climate change.
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