So, I thought I was going to watch this movie sometime in January, but I ended up watching it last night – New Year’s Eve done right. Look, I love Julia Roberts and I would probably listen to her read my grocery list. She starred in my favourite comedy of all time, Pretty Woman, and the rest is history. Therefore, I was very excited to hear that she had a new movie coming out on Netflix.

Leave the World Behind, written by Rumaan Alam and published in 2020, is one of the most talked about books of the last few years. The hype became even greater once ex-American President Barack Obama mentioned the book on his 2022 favourite books list. I didn’t know what to expect when I started reading this book except that I knew it was a thriller and I thought it was going to be a perfect read for the month of November. It ended up putting me into a reading slump. But the book wasn’t bad, it just had a very suffocating atmosphere and it was very slow paced which is not my type of thriller – I am more into the “page-turner” thrillers and this was not that. What I liked the most were the cool messages behind every scene, from race, to the human condition, and real survival instincts, I feel like the author didn’t shy away from telling it how it is, how it really is.

The book in itself is not a very long book, but it can feel like you’re not really making progress because of the slow pace and the writing style which is more focused on setting the space than creating dialogue. Still gave it 3 out of 5 stars, especially for that disturbing ending. If the author wanted to make us feel uncomfortable reading this book, I would say he succeeded.

The Netflix movie, by the same name, was directed by Sam Esmail (producer of the Mr. Robot series) and released on the 8th of December, after a short run in the cinemas across America. Leave the World Behind was produced by Barack and Michele Obama and is starring Julia Roberts (so convincing in Amanda’s role), Ethan Hawke (broke my heart during one particular scene being the desperate parent), Mahershala Ali, and Myha’la. When I finished reading the book I thought that the movie was going to be too weird for my taste, but I was actually surprised by how much I liked it. I definitely liked it more than I liked the book and I would even say that it really deserves more attention as it is quite a good psychological thriller. I would advise you to pay attention to every detail because there is a meaning behind EVERYTHING which I thought was very smart and very well delivered. Kudos to the team.

In the book (which I’m selling on Vinted at the moment), the people knocking on the door late at night are actually a couple, not a father and a daughter like shown in the movie, but this doesn’t affect the story – it actually works better, in my opinion. I have also noticed a few other small differenes, like the person Clay and G.H. are visiting to get help for Archie – this is an actual doctor in the book, not just a neighbour, and Rose doesn’t watch Friends in the book, but is as obsessed by watching TV as she is in the movie.

Not sure if this was the best movie to watch on the last day of the year, being an apocalyptic thriller and all, but it was a good movie to watch nonetheless. I went into it without much expectations and I really liked it. The details, the smart messages, the acting and the music, yes.

We fuck each other over all the time, without even realizing it. We fuck every living thing on this planet over and think it’ll be fine because we use paper straws and order free-range chicken. And the sick thing is, I think deep down we know we’re not fooling anyone.


Leave the World Behind is now streaming on Netflix.

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