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Sunday, January 7, 2024

Leave The World Behind (2023)

 I didn't plan ahead for it. But when the day came and the mood was right, I recalled this movie and wanted to watch it. And so I did. The first movie in the year 2024. It came out on Netflix on December 8th, 2023 (Happy Birthday to me, who loves this type of stories!), but I wasn't too late.

I had come across people speaking of it before, alarmed about the possibility of it not being so fictional after all. But at this point, I've already run through so many worst-case scenarios in my head that it wouldn't shock me. Still, I appreciate seeing it all play out like this, whether it holds any truths or not...

Many things about it stood out to me. Starting with the concept of media as a reflection or an escape being brought up. And yes, definitely! In some ways, it can be both too. And I love it for that.

The implication of racism seemed to shake quite a few people as well. I didn't know what to expect in that regard and worried it would be some sort of nonsense passing as "awakened". But it wasn't even really addressed in its true horror. Instead, what seemed to portray was the inclination to attribute to racism what could be explained as a general suspicion of strangers or dislike toward people as a whole. Whether or not there are any traces of racism in any of these characters, however, is still debatable.

The characters and the dynamics between them were interesting to me, too. There weren't too many characters, but enough to form a diverse group of people with distinct traits and personalities. No surprise, I could relate to Amanda as a bitter, yet idealistic, person in advertising. And enjoyed seeing the rest of the characters as unique individuals adding to the plot.

Though her husband wasn't portrayed in a very positive light, he still showed up as a steady partner that she could count on. And their kids, contrasting and conflicting with each other, demonstrated how things can be more a matter of perspective and attitude. G.H. Scott and his daughter were also quite the sight together, with his attempt to placate and mediate what appeared to be a loose cannon. Yet, Danny, the survivalist, gets the award for that. It was nice that he helped regardless, though. And speaking of nice, I was glad for the part in which Amanda sincerely apologized for the way she initially treated them.

One of my favorite parts, though, has to be when Rose, Amanda's daughter, brings up the story about God sending help. I don't remember when was the first time I listened to it or how many times I have and where. But I've always liked that story and its message. How often help comes in ways we don't expect so we overlook it and miss it.

Another, creepy as it was, was the part of teeth falling out. I couldn't tell at first if Archie was having a nightmare or not. Teeth falling out is one of the recurring dreams I tend to have and they're... quite unpleasant, to say the least. Yet, they always come with the eventual relief that it was just a dream and, if anything more, a dentist is just a few blocks away. I do wonder if there was intentional symbolism involved or merely a manner of graphically impacting the viewers. Either way, not the worst of the problems!

The view to the city, which Ruth caught, is the major problem. And yet, it ties into the title of the story to grant it a tone of relief, selfish as it may be, for being outside of it - for having left the world behind.

The ending did not disappoint at all, either. When besides finding a spacious and secure bunker complete with all the resources they'd need and beyond, Rose can at last watch more of Friends. And it all ends with the unforgettable Friends' theme that is all about friendship.

Overall, I loved watching it. There wasn't a dull moment in it for me. It kept me actively intrigued and fascinated. And what may be considered grim to start the year with, was actually a "reset" for me that cannot be described in a few words.