“Leave The World Behind” (Netflix) Movie Review by Rafy Mediavilla (@Rmediavilla) #LeaveTheWorldBehindNetflix

“Leave The World Behind” (Netflix) Movie Review by Rafy Mediavilla (@Rmediavilla) #LeaveTheWorldBehindNetflix

In this apocalyptic thriller from award-winning writer and director Sam Esmail (Mr. Robot), Amanda (Academy Award winner Julia Roberts) and her husband Clay (Academy Award nominee Ethan Hawke), rent a luxurious home for the weekend with their kids, Archie (Charlie Evans) and Rose (Farrah Mackenzie). Their vacation is soon upended when two strangers — G.H. (Academy Award winner Mahershala Ali) and his daughter Ruth (Myha’la) — arrive in the night, bearing news of a mysterious cyberattack and seeking refuge in the house they claim is theirs. The two families reckon with a looming disaster that grows more terrifying by the minute, forcing everyone to come to terms with their places in a collapsing world.

I am a sucker for a good conspiracy theory, but also I was a huge fan of Sam Esmail’s “Mr. Robot” on USA Network, so I knew I had to give this movie a watch. The cast is also a great selling point with Ethan Hawke, Mahershale Ali, Julia Roberts, and Kevin Bacon in the mix, I know a lot of people would be tinning in just because of it. Now if we add the fact that former US president Barack Obama had a say in how this story came about my interest peaked even more to see what Sam Esmail brought to the table with this story.

Story-wise “Leave The World Behind” paints a post-apocalyptic setup where everything that was going all with these two families felt too real to me as they played out. From the social commentary behind who to trust, judging a book by its cover, and the way we have become so dependent on technology and social media, Sam Esmail touches upon every subject to enough of an extent that it will surely spark a conversation, and without entering into too many details the ending will have people mind spinning and asking themself “what did I just watch?”. Because that is exactly what works best with this story the “what if’s” are present, and the “what will happen next” questions that arise as the story develops. Esmail managed to capture and pick on the curiosity of the spectator by stringing you along with these characters as a tension-driven, chaotic situation exploded around them and we start to wonder how this feels too real, too reliable to current times.

Performance-wise this was a little bit of a tough task pin-pointing a performance that stands out. As I must comment Esmail was one to make sure every actor had a moment to shine in one specific scene. I loved the chemistry between Julia Robert and Mahershala Ali in the living room of the Airbnb as they complimented the future and spoke about the past. I love the scene with Mayha’la Herroid and Mahershala Ali as they speak on racism and who they can or cannot trust. I love the scene where Ehtan Hawke’s character is begging for Kevin Bacon’s character to save his son. I believe everyone understood the assignment and what they needed to bring to the table to tell the story. But in the end, the story and how it unfolded around them is the real star of the show.

More than anything “Leave The World Behind” will manage to spark a conversation of the “what ifs” about our current state of life. While it truly leaves many unanswered questions, the premise behind the social commentary regarding technology, social media, among many topics it projects I believe the sole purpose of this movie is to keep you guessing and keeping you curious about what would you do if said “what if” would truly happen. While I loved what saw, I honestly believe people will not be fans of the many curves it throws at out with it story telling.

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