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Ending of Leave the World Behind explained after Netflix viewers called it 'stupid'

Ending of Leave the World Behind explained after Netflix viewers called it 'stupid'

The movie's ending has divided viewers

Heads up - this article contains spoilers for Leave The World Behind

The executive producer and author of Leave The World Behind has explained the movie’s controversial ending.

The Netflix movie is based upon the book of the same name by Rumaan Alam and centres on couple Amanda (played by Julia Roberts) and Clay (played by Ethan Hawke) who take their kids Rose and Archie (played by Farrah Mackenzie and Charlie Evans) to a luxurious rental home for a break.

However, shortly after arriving, the home’s owner G.H. Scott (played by Mahershala Ali) arrives back with his daughter Ruth (played by Myha’la) to escape a bunch of weird goings on in the city.

The two families are forced together while things get even stranger outside - leading the two blokes to meet up with conspiracy theorist Danny (played by Kevin Bacon) in the hopes of getting an understanding of what’s going on.

Danny recommends that the family hide out in a bunker on the neighbour’s property. The movie ends with Amanda and Ruth looking for Rose who has gone missing - while the pair are outside they witness explosions in the city beyond.

In the final scene we see Rose finding the bunker and picking up a DVD of the final season of Friends, which she then puts on. As the opening theme song kicks in, the credits roll.

Julia Roberts in Leave the World Behind.

The movie’s open ending has divided viewers with some branding it ‘stupid’.

In a post on X, one viewer said: “No, why did the Leave World Behind end like that?”

And another wrote: “That Leave The World Behind movie sucked cuz wtf was that ending.”

But author Alam has defended the choice, which differs from the ending in the book, saying that it's not the type of film to wrap everything up in a neat bow at the end.

Asked why the audience weren’t given closure at the end, Alam told Variety: “Wouldn’t that be so dissatisfying? It’s a film that respects you as a viewer enough to not provide that.

The ending has divided viewers.

“In that final scene between Julia and Myha’la, they don’t embrace. Even prior to that, when they’re in that little shed and come to a détente, Ruth acknowledges that there’s some truth to the things that Amanda has said, that they’re in agreement about something, but it doesn’t end with a hug.

"It’s not that kind of story. I have no problem with like a big disaster movie that saves the six or eight principals and reunites them in the aftermath of a disaster and allows you to be like, ‘Well, everything’s gonna be okay.’

"I just don’t think this is that kind of film."

Featured Image Credit: Netflix/NBC

Topics: Netflix, TV and Film