What is the Meaning of the Color Blue in Leave the World Behind?

To craft the visual language of Netflix’s disaster filmLeave the World Behind,’ director Sam Esmail primarily used a blue color tone. The color blue appears in several places and instances in the movie, ranging from the Sandfords and Scotts’ bedrooms to the boards of the shops in Point Comfort. Even when the two families try to comprehend the national emergency that has stunned the United States, they appear partially bathed in blue. Esmail’s use of the color must be far from accidental. In addition to making the film distinctive, it sheds light on the true nature of the principal characters! SPOILERS AHEAD.

The Coldness Between the Characters

Blue, as a color, is a representation of coldness. As far as the film is concerned, it represents the coldness that exists between the characters. The Sandfords and Scotts, primarily, are “cold” to one another. When G. H. Scott and his daughter Ruth show up in their house in between the Sandfords’ vacation, Amanda behaves very coldly towards the owners. While the Scotts ask for help, she doesn’t care to listen to them properly. She insists on showing no compassion and even expects her husband Clay to act like her. Amanda’s coldness is not subtle. When Clay asks her about the inspiration behind the vacation, she makes it clear that she wants the same as a getaway from people because she hates everyone.

Amanda is not the only one who treats others without a sense of warmth. Ruth, despite interrupting the Sandfords’ vacation with her father, behaves towards the other family with derision. She doesn’t realize that the Sandfords have every right to say no to her and her father’s request after they have rented out the entire house for the weekend. The blue color tone is visible when Ruth and Clay have a conversation while the disaster unfolds. Rather than treating the man with respect, Ruth finds the conversation his attempt to seduce her. The tone can be seen as a display of her uncaring attitude.

When G. H. and Clay go to Danny’s house looking for medicines for Archie, the contractor appears before the two fathers wearing blue jeans. Similar to Ruth, Danny is someone who behaves towards others with contempt and hate. He sees Clay and G. H. as threats and points a gun at them despite being friends with the latter before the disaster. Danny acts coldly to them despite knowing that Archie likely is slowly dying. As a father himself, Danny should be helping Clay but he doesn’t show any compassion towards the professor.

Archie isn’t any better either. When his sister approaches him with fear and confusion, he doesn’t try to comfort her. Rather, he tries to masturbate looking at Ruth’s photos, which were taken secretly. The blue color is also visible when Rose watches the finale episode of ‘Friends’ at the house of the Thornes. Even when a disaster unfolds, threatening the lives of her loved ones, her focus is on watching the TV series she has been obsessed with.

In one of the significant scenes in the movie, Amanda and G. H. share an intimate moment dancing together. Her dislike towards G. H. evaporates by then, which makes her receptive to the companionship he offers. Esmail used warm colors like brown to separate the scene from the aforementioned ones. Notably, Amanda starts dancing with her new friend after taking her blue sweater off, which indicates how she part ways with her coldness to behave well with the latter.

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