17 Sins of Leave the World Behind on Netflix

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“Leave the World Behind” is an adaptation of Rumaan Alam’s novel, which was a literary event and quickly gained bestseller status. Transferring this story to the screen was a task that required not only understanding the original work, but also the skill of transforming it into a cinematic medium.

Rumaan Alam’s book “Leave the World Behind” is an outstanding psychological thriller that explores mysterious events and human reactions in situations of isolation and uncertainty. This story, set in contemporary realities, leads the reader through a series of unexpected plot twists, balancing on the edge of reality and paranoia.

The plot focuses on two families who accidentally meet and are forced to confront an unexplained, global catastrophe together. The main characters are Amanda and Clay, a couple from New York, who, along with their children – Archie and Rosie – go on a long-awaited vacation to a secluded villa on Long Island. Their peace is interrupted when, in the middle of the night, the house’s owners, an older couple, George and Ruth, arrive with news of a mysterious, nationwide blackout.

The situation becomes increasingly tense as both families try to understand what is happening, while dealing with growing feelings of threat and mutual suspicion. Uncertainty and fear of the unknown cause everyday norms and social conventions to start breaking down, revealing hidden racial, class, and cultural tensions.

Alam through his narration perfectly captures the atmosphere of fear and paranoia, which intensifies as the events unfold. We find insightful observations about family, trust, and more subtle themes related to racism and classism. The author skillfully plays with the thriller convention, gradually building tension and uncertainty, while leading the reader through complex and multi-dimensional character portraits.

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One of the most distinguishing aspects of the book is the way Alam addresses the theme of dependence on technology. In a world where communication and access to information are suddenly cut off, the characters face the challenge of surviving without the support of modern conveniences, leading to deeper reflections on our current dependence on the digital world.

As the plot develops, the reader witnesses how the characters struggle with their own fears, past, and interpersonal relationships, adding psychological depth to the story. Conflicts between the characters, both overt and hidden, are presented with subtle complexity, allowing the reader to fully immerse themselves in the story and identify with the characters.

The atmosphere of the book “Leave the World Behind” is disturbing and intense, and Alam skillfully maintains tension until the last pages. The ending, open and ambiguous, leaves readers with reflection on the novel’s message and their own beliefs and reactions to the events presented.

However, the creators of Netflix’s Leave the World Behind were in a hurry and tried to pack an extensive plot into a short film. This contributed to many logical problems, which I list below.

  1. What’s the deal with the animals and what did they “want to say” to people?
  2. What’s the deal with the shed and why has the property/land owner not known about it for so many years?
  3. Why didn’t the owner, knowing the risk, prepare a bunker-style shelter for himself? After all, he is wealthy and knows the right subcontractor.
  4. What is actually the role of the kids in this movie?
  5. Why doesn’t the most well-known local ‘prepper’ even have a fenced property or secured windows?
  6. Why does no one care about the stock of food, water, or medicine throughout the movie?
  7. If the entire city infrastructure is down, how does the mansion still have access to running water?
  8. The mansion is powered by a generator, but why is no one concerned about the fuel status or whether there is any reserve at all?
  9. If the mansion has been rented exclusively to guests for many years (as stated in the movie), then how do the owner and his daughter have a stock of clothes in the building? They themselves said they were returning from a philharmonic and have nothing with them.
  10. If the blackout immediately paralyzed the city and its surroundings, how did the owners manage to leave the city first?
  11. What’s the deal with the Mexican woman met on the street? What does this mean for the plot?
  12. Would really no one in the real world run away at the sight of a huge container ship about to hit the beach?
  13. How was the microwave sound emitted and for what purpose?
  14. Where did all the people go? Other drivers?
  15. How did hackers send all the Teslas to one place using autopilot? Autopilot uses GPS, which in the movie was always shown as jammed/not working.
  16. How was the internet turned off, which was designed so that it could not be turned off even during war?
  17. Why did planes fall from the sky? Pilots are trained to fly/land without using GPS or autopilot. There was no EMP pulse that would have destroyed the electronics.

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Jakub Markiewicz
Jakub Markiewiczhttps://jotem.in
Hi, I am the author of the Jotem.in blog and series of thematic portals since 2013. I have nearly 15 years of experience in working in the media, marketing, public relations and IT. If you are interested in cooperation, you would like me to write about something or test a product - let me know.
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