Leave the World Behind

Leave the World Behind
Leave the World Behind
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When a family trip turns into a surreal nightmare for Amanda Sanford (Julia Roberts) and her family after two strangers arrive at their doorstep and the subsequent cyber attack leads to strange incidents around them.

What they do not know is that, when the Sanfords go on vacation in their nearby town, they are going to be there for good. The whole thing began when regular American family of four Sanfords were running up and down living their own lives; however, it was decided that they should take out one weekend off for peace.

Amanda finds an incredible offer online for a gigantic villa situated outside the nearby city. They then begin a long road journey towards their rented house with plans to relax, recover and reconnect as a family. However, within no time inexplicable things start happening all over them. The first is a cargo ship that unloads its contents onto the public beach where the sun-bathing Sanfords are. Then follows other bizarre happenings such as blackout and then an odd looking daddy-daughter couple arrives at the house where Sanfords have booked into claiming it as theirs. As they grudgingly allow them stay back overnight, this is just the beginning of a much bigger yet deeply sinister nightmare which appears to be caused by some huge cyber attack.

From beginning till end Sam Esmail who has also directed this film together with co-writing it never stops arousing our curiosity but instead slowly unveils each quirkiness of every moment. But 2 hours and 21 minutes make Esmail slow in giving us answers and stretches weirdness too far without letting us fathom what is happening in his new chaotic world (Lynch). Besides he does not do it any faster either. This movie would have been thrilling if only its screenplay had speeded up instead of leaving an effect like it has now ruined real buzzkill of this thriller.

However great an actress Julia Roberts has been with previous roles, this one is far more complex and better developed than any of them. Therefore, one can say she fits perfectly well into the role of a paranoid mom who grope in darkness while seeking answers on what’s happening with her and around her family. To be frank there is not much else for her to do but that one monologue on mass illusion. We believe wholeheartedly that we are so convincing when we use paper straws and order the free range chicken.

Even Ethan Hawke and other actors do it very well, but their characters look like cliches. For instance Archie Sandford (Charlie Evans) cannot just help being a horny teen since he is already 13 years old and will always lech at any girl who passes by thanks to his raging hormones. The younger sister Farrah Mackenzie as Rose who is obsessed with friends is very cute. GH Scott (Mahershala Ali) and his daughter Ruth (Myha’la) become the black people who scare a white privileged family out of their staycation.

Leave the World Behind is a thriller with occasional action, too little to make it a truly thrilling film. It presents a grim and apocalyptic situation that could easily happen in our world today. In general, however, this plot of the world-ending again and again has been rehashed so many times and muddied by confusion. So you are left at last with more questions than answers as every-thing has become unclear again.

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