The movie leave the world behind Netflix has become a source of all kinds of speculation and theories on social platforms. Especially since its plot hints at much more than it tells. What makes its final scenes not only a mysterious display of the human reaction to an unstoppable phenomenon. Also, the center of all kinds of speculation about its meaning – if it has any – or where it leads a plot full of mysteries.
Leaving the World Behind, by Sam Esmail, based on the novel of the same name by Rumaan Alam, analyzes the end of times from the perspective of mystery. None of the characters know exactly what is happening and in fact, the plot advances to a large extent, thanks to the effort involved in discovering the event. Which allows the director to imitate the rarefied and claustrophobic atmosphere of the book. However, by its end, the film becomes even more cryptic. Despite showing what happens, the reactions of its characters make the final sequences inexplicable.
Much more so when it seems to insinuate that the tragedy – revealing the event that was half-shown during the film – is a combination of several collective fears. From the fear of a terrorist act to a large-scale hack that completely interferes with communications. The film does not hold back any urban myths and in fact, combines them in a nightmarish outcome.
What is happening in the movie?
In the plot, Amanda Sandford (Julia Roberts) rents a house to spend the holidays with her family. Which allows her, her husband Clay (Ethan Hawke) and their children to enjoy some time away from New York. But she has barely begun the journey, when what seems like a tragedy impossible to define immediately occurs.
All communications, including the Internet and television media, end up falling to a massive cyber attack. As they try to deal with whatever is happening at a distance from any location with information, the pressure on the characters increases.. That, due to the arrival of George Scott (Mahershala Ali) and his daughter Ruth (Myha’la), the owner of the house where they are.
Forced into mandatory coexistence, families will begin to suspect each other’s intentions. That, while his neighbor Danny (Kevin Bacon), becomes an indecipherable element that only adds fear and paranoia to what happens. Towards the end, it is discovered that the city is under fire and that the apocalypse is a communicational chaos of gigantic dimensions. Furthermore, an environmental crisis that threatens to become a wave of uncontrollable violence.
Leaving the world behind: five parts to tell a story
Sam Esmail divided his script into five parts and presents it that way in the film, which makes its plot more confusing. Graduated Part I: The House, Part II: The Curve, Part III: The Noise, Part IV: The Flood and Part V: The Endthey organize the plot into segments. But they also allow us to delve deeper into how the scriptwriter tries to narrate an increasingly complex event.
If the first two fragments are the prologue, III, IV and V seem to point to how the collective tragedy that the characters experience develops. Much more so when George explains to Clay that everything that is happening could follow a plan. A point that is reflected in the curious structure of the film.
From isolation — which would coincide with the lack of information that the characters experience — to the different events that are told in the plot. Telling the story separately allowed Esmail — or at least, it was his basic intention — to give the feeling that everything that happens is linked by a thread of events. Only, most of what happens is a mystery or subject to the interpretation of its main figures.
One of the most disconcerting points of the film is the behavior of the fauna that surrounds the house where the Sandfords are located. Especially because it allows us to sense that what happens in the city — and presumably the rest of the world — It is much more serious and total than an attack on communications.
From flamingos that appear in an area where they do not belong to herds of threatening deer. The film establishes that whatever happens, it affects animal migration and causes catastrophic environmental damage. Which includes patterns of unusual and, to some extent, violent behavior. As in other issues, the plot does not clarify what is causing all of the above, but it is evident that this is a major event with biological impact.
Is Danny part of some conspiracy?
Without a clear explanation, the character played by Kevin Bacon seems to know in advance what is happening. Same as George. But while the latter insists that he was warned by friends and contacts in high places, Danny explains that in his case it was an analysis of the news he had on hand.
By the end, it becomes clear that everything the character knows — and his preparation for a major event — is a combination of paranoia and acting at the right moment. In other words, he was never related to any part of any conspiracy, but one of the many that he believed in ended up being true. A discreet mockery by Esmail of the theorists of great future disasters, which Kevin Bacon portrays perfectly.
An ending of pop culture references
By its final scenes, the film makes it clear that the world, as the characters know it, has fallen. Not only that, but also the danger they will face is the disappearance of social and cultural memory. In its last part, all the comments about media and messages, what is left behind and memories of destroyed times, connect into something simple. Or that, apparently, it is.
So the Stanford daughter, rosie (Farrah Mackenzie), runs to a bunker in a neighboring house in a form of escapism. See the last in the series Friends— a generational phenomenon in itself — marks the meaning of total loss. At the same time, it reflects what the characters have already said about mass culture, as a symbol of everything the world could ever be. The above, while it is revealed that New York is being bombed.
The episode of FriendsIt also gives the title to the last part of the film. Which could leave, as a chilling message, that the remains of society are about to succumb, but there is still roomfor escapism and evasion through the latest — false — images of life as it was.