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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 Netflix film left viewers absolutely baffled

Towards the end of last year, Leave the World Behind left viewers feeling pretty baffled.

The Netflix film was slammed as ‘stupid’ as plenty of people couldn’t quite get their head around the ending.

And as some started to make a ‘scary realisation’ over the movie’s ‘hidden meaning’, others pointed out a slight inconsistency in the storyline.

Based on a book with the same name by Rumaan Alam, Leave the World Behind 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 holiday.

However, not long after they get there, the home’s owner G.H. Scott (played by Mahershala Ali) arrives with his daughter Ruth (played by Myha’la) to escape some 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.

Julia Roberts in Leave the World Behind. (Netflix)
Julia Roberts in Leave the World Behind. (Netflix)

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 – and viewers weren’t buying it.

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

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

But 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.

All Rose wants to do is watch Friends. (Netflix)
All Rose wants to do is watch Friends. (Netflix)

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.

“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/Warner Bros

Topics: Netflix, Film, TV and Film