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'Leaving The World Behind': Mark Zuckerberg Building $100M Hawaii Underground Bunker

by Venus Sanders

Reportedly, Mark Zuckerberg is constructing a lavish $100 million compound in Hawaii, named Koolau Ranch, raising eyebrows about potential doomsday preparations.

This extensive project, marked as one of the most costly personal construction endeavors in modern history, is already partially built on Kauai island. The compound, consisting of over a dozen buildings, includes two central mansions connected by an underground tunnel leading to a 5,000-square-foot shelter with an escape hatch. Boasting 30 bedrooms and 30 bathrooms, the property also features guest houses and a cluster of 11 treehouses connected by rope bridges.

The underground bunker is designed with a living space and a mechanical room, fortified with a "blast-resistant" concrete and steel door. Various buildings within the complex have entrances with keypad locks, soundproofing, and even secret doors, while the extensive camera surveillance adds an extra layer of security. Moreover, Koolau Ranch aims to be self-sufficient, equipped with a large water tank and pump system, complemented by existing ranching and agriculture across the 1,400-acre property.

The compound is enclosed by a 6-foot wall, and all workers are bound by non-disclosure agreements, adding an air of secrecy to Zuckerberg's ambitious project, which he envisions as a family home for his wife and children, having spent $170 million to acquire the land.

Ratings have tanked, is there a correlation?

Netflix's holiday lineup has embraced a peculiar tradition: the release of post-apocalyptic movies during the Thanksgiving-to-Christmas period. Recent years have witnessed the arrival of films like "Don't Look Up," "White Noise," and "Bird Box" within this festive window.

While "Leave the World Behind," adapted from Rumaan Alam's novel of the same name, shares some surface-level similarities with disaster offerings from filmmakers like McKay and Baumbach, the film predominantly channels the spirit of Steve De Jarnatt's "Miracle Mile."

Much like De Jarnatt's romantic-thriller set in Los Angeles, "Leave the World Behind" unfolds as a conspiracy theory materializes into reality. The Sandford family, while on vacation, experiences subtle signs of an impending crisis, starting with the loss of their cell service and escalating to a cargo ship crashing on the beach. As they sunbathe, a mysterious knock on their door heralds the return of the home's owner, G.H. Scott (played by the charming Mahershala Ali), and his daughter Ruth. The sudden reappearance is prompted by a New York-wide blackout.

Amanda Sandford, portrayed in a notably despicable manner by Julia Roberts, injects racial tension into the disaster narrative. Suspicion arises about the true ownership of the house, and Amanda dismisses the existence of a blackout despite the evidence. The film subtly navigates Amanda's racial biases, falling short of explicitly labeling her as such and opting for a weak backstory to rationalize her behavior. The film's treatment of Amanda's son is underdeveloped, relying on a single, albeit humorous, "Friends" joke to define her daughter's character.

In the hands of capable actors, these foundational elements create a palpable sense of dread throughout the film. Sam Esmail's penchant for dynamic camera movements adds another layer of visual excitement. Collaborating with cinematographer Tod Campbell, Esmail employs long pans, crane shots, and reoriented compositions to depict the chaotic events—a departure from the conventional visual language seen in many contemporary films. The film's absurd premise is heightened by the playful and inventive camerawork, featuring unexpected calamities like powerless planes, falling paper fliers, and weaponized self-driving Teslas. Even Kevin Bacon makes an appearance as a mysterious off-the-grid character.

"Leave the World Behind" is undeniably absorbing, particularly in its character-driven motifs and the skilled performances of the cast. However, it maintains a certain emotional distance, withholding a more profound human connection. The film seems to treat emotion as a classified clue rather than an essential key to engaging the audience's hearts. Despite this, the movie stands out as a testament to the creative freedom embraced by Esmail and his team, injecting a refreshing and visually dynamic element into a genre often characterized by predictability.


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