Extreme weather events have become a rather regular occurrence in the world. September 2021 saw New York City getting flooded. Heatwaves were sweeping continental Europe and the US in the summer of 2021. Droughts and forest fires hit parts of California in October last year. There were so many hurricanes in the Atlantic this year, that weather forecasters ran out of names for them.
You might think that these large-scale disasters only happen in the United States, but that’s not true. For example, if you take a look at the UK weather radar, and see a rather pleasant climate in the country. From London to Birmingham to Liverpool, the predictions are for clear skies.
But do not be misled by the present calmness. The week before, Storm Eunice was lashing through various parts of Europe, including the United Kingdom. The storm crippled large parts of the south and the west. It was the most powerful storm to hit the southern coast of England after the great storm of 1987.
Climate change has been seen as the most probable cause behind all of these frequent disasters. In the years ahead, experts foresee more such environmental catastrophes. But, as always, movies have captured these events quite well. They may even offer us insights into the kind of weather events that are headed our way.
So, without further ado, here are some of the most breathtaking movies inspired by the weather.
This movie is based on the French graphic novel “Le Transperceneige”, and is directed by Bong Joon-ho. The movie starts in the future as the human race embarks on a last-ditch effort to stop the spread of global warming. This doesn’t go as planned, and the world is thrown headfirst into an ice age instead.
It results in all life dying out from the face of the earth. Wilford, a wealthy businessman, constructs a high-speed train that can travel non-stop around the globe. And, this train is not affected by the extreme weather. The last remaining humans on the planet now survive on this train.
This train is divided into the upper-class quarters and the lower-class ones. After living in subhuman conditions for almost a decade, the passengers from lower-class sections revolt. They wake up a prisoner who is in cryogenic sleep. He knows how to get through the train’s security system.
A team then sets off towards the head of the train, where the upper-class passengers reside. That is where a showdown takes place between the rebels and Wilford. The climax is quite interesting, emphasizing that life survives in all conditions.
The film begins in the late 60s as Jo and her family hide from a tornado. The storm kills her father. Jo becomes a meteorologist, and 20 years later is an obsessive storm chaser. We see Jo rushing off to chase a developing storm. But, she runs into Jonas Miller who is a rival.
Bill, who is Jo’s ex-husband and has teamed up with her, discovers that Bill has stolen his technology for a storm dispersion device. Jonas is backed by a corporation. Although both devices are ready, neither has been tested in real-life conditions. This is why both these parties are eager to find a live tornado.
When they find some evidence of a tornado developing, Bill shows up with his current fiancé so that Jo can sign the divorce papers. But suddenly, the storm shows up, and Bill and Jo chase off after it. The rival groups now go up against each other to see who can reach the storm first. At the end of the adventure, Bill and Jo realize they still feel for each other.
The Perfect Storm, 2020
It is October 1991, and a fishing boat comes back to port at Gloucester, Massachusetts with a minimal catch. Its captain, Billy Tyne, is desperate for cash and convinces his crew to venture out for another round in the high seas. This time though, they venture further than their usual fishing zone.
Heavy winds and thunderstorms are brewing behind them. This time though, they manage to get a good catch. During the expedition, their storage freezer breaks down. They risk losing the catch unless they head to shore immediately and do so through the storm. The crew decides to risk it.
But they have severely underestimated the storm. The ship has to endure 12 meter high waves pounding its deck. 2 men are thrown off the ship. And a broken stabilizer keeps hammering its side. To avoid more damage, the crew decide to turn around. But it’s a little too late. The ship is hit by the biggest wave yet.
The ship starts sinking, and Billy goes down with it. Only one crew member manages to reach the surface. But he too succumbs to the sea.
The stories of all of these movies are grim. They are supposed to be. Humans encountering the wrath of the weather never ends well. While you enjoy the thrilling ride that these movies provide, think about what is causing these drastic weather phenomena. And, you might just be inspired to do your part in our collective response to climate change.