It’s like being in a disaster movie or novel. Not in the main story, though, not in the drama itself, but in one of those little flashback scenes where the narrative glances back at how it all began: the small apparently innocuous signs, the little details that people noticed but didn’t think much about, the other preoccupations that now look so trivial, but which seemed more pressing at the time.
The movie returns from the flashback to the main narrative. “Why didn’t they see it?” the characters ask one another in bemusement. “Why didn’t they do anything about it?”