/10 8.9K votes
Release date: January 27, 2022
High schooler Vada navigates the emotional fallout she experiences in the wake of a school tragedy. Relationships with her family, friends and view of the world are forever altered.
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It'd been a while since a teen drama really got me pondering, but then I watched The Fallout. It's a small but profoundly layered film, powered by a solid lead performance from Jenna Ortega. Megan Park's debut feature film is striking and centers around the survivors of a high-school shooting incident. The screenplay works as a contemporary character study, going into the itsy bitsy details of a high-school teenager's life in the aftermath of the said pivotal incident. Vada (Ortega), a tomboy with introverted inclinations, is perplexed at the way everything suddenly changes for her, and the film showcases her struggles (and occasional highs) poignantly. It's almost like Megan Park extensively studied how Gen Z-ers speak, organically incorporating dialogues into the script.
The don't-know-what-to-do mom (Julie Bowen) and bewildered sister characters are also given due importance as they're significant to the progress that Vada makes each day. Their performances are also brilliant. I also enjoyed how Vada has a varying but relatable dynamic between herself and each family member, and writer-director Park ensures she gets very emotional, very grounded scenes with each. Vada's accidental friendship with the uber-popular Mia (Maddie Ziegler) gets the lion's share of the screenplay, showcasing how little joys and wins are so important. In fact, except for the therapy session scenes featuring Shailene Woodley, I wholly enjoyed the film. It was like a breath of fresh air, even though it revolves around a tragedy.
Fmovies: Like the message and inside story when kids suffer from post traumatic event. Whatever it takes, stop the violence and no more gun shoot anymore, do something to save our next generation.
The scars of a school shooting weep through a young students actions as she struggles to come to terms with the mental conflict playing out in her mind, with teenage distractions, reactions and inactions all compounding, confusing and amplifying already heightened emotions, devotions and affections. Great performance from Jenna Ortega who delivers a truly believable and sympathetic portrayal of something few of us could ever imagine.
The Fallout fmovies. The opening sequence of 'The Fallout' is very well done. It's powerful, tense and all too real unfortunately. From there the films fall into a quite sombre look at the anxiety and depression caused by such a tragedy. It's a tough watch at times but an important one also.
Jenna Ortega seems to be the "IT" girl at the moment. She's in everything seemingly and it's not hard to understand why. She is extremely likeable and seems to have the full arsenal available in her acting talents. Without a strong lead a film like this could be a very unpleasant watch. She ensured that was not the case.
I love films where the family dynamic is handled in a positive way. I understand not every family out there is as great as we'd like to imagine, and it's often an easy way for a film to create conflict by using a dysfunctional family. However I think the majority of families out there are extremely supportive like the ones in 'The Fallout'. And even when a family is doing everything they can to help there can still be conflict apparent as this film proved.
The ending of this film is a tough one. It's tough and it's heart-breaking but it is also the absolute perfect ending for a film like this because it is real. Any other ending would have been a cop-out.
There are little patches of the film that can come across a little dull and boring and that's one of the flaws of the film. Those scenes are often setting things up for the future though, and also watching a character struggling with depression can't always be a fun or enjoyable ride or else you've portrayed it wrong.
This is a good film. Don't go in expecting anything other than a pretty gritty drama though. There is the odd funny moment but for the most part it's a very serious film. 7/10.
As "The Fallout" (2021 release; 96 min.) opens, 16 yr old Vada and her younger sister Amelia are at school. During a bathroom break, Vada runs into Mia, one of the "popular" girls. Then the unimaginable happens, as we hear gun shot after gun shot. Vada and Mia hide into a bathroom stall, fearing for their lives... At this point we are less than 10 min into the movie.
Couple of comments: this is the feature length writing and directing debut of actress Megan Park, and what a debut it is. This isn't the first film about a mass school shooting, but I cannot recall another movie where the focus is strictly on the aftermath of the shooting for the survivors. The film's main character is 16 yr old Vada, who lives a life of privilege, surrounded by a loving family and a range of friends. There are scenes of pure heartbreak, such as late in the film when siblings Vada and Amelia confront their fears together. The movie benefits enormously from Jenna Ortega's performance as Vada, truly a breakout role, and a thankful breather from her many slasher film roles including the current "Scream" and the upcoming "Studio 666" and "X". But in the end, much of the praise is due to Megan Park's direction, as she tackles a difficult topic with empathy, nuance and skill. Last but not least, the film sports a superior original score, courtesy of Finneas O'Connell (Billie Eilish's brother). Along the way, the movie brings a blistering indictment against the never-ending cycle of mass school shootings. When will enough be enough? How will the politicians who fill their pockets with bottomless NRA contributions, be held accountable? Why is it that the phenom of mass school shootings is unique to this country? But those are topics for another day. Meanwhile if you are interested in understanding what surviving a mass school shooting does to a 16 yr old, "The Fallout" will give you a pretty good indication of that.
"The Fallout" premiered at the 2021 SXSW film festival to immediate critical acclaim, and then... nothing. The film finally went wide this weekend as it started streaming on HBO Max, where I caught it. There is good reason why "The Fallout" is currently rated 92% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. Of course don't take my word for it, so I encourage you to check it out, and draw your own conclusion.
I wasn't interested in another gun-violence teen drama. However, 10 minutes in, I was struggling to hold it together. Ten minutes after it ended, I was reeling from a gut-punch ending. Ortega, Ziegler, & Park give an authentic presentation of teendom, like Burnham's Eight Grade, with an intense injection of tragedy. The fact that writer-director Park didn't live through a school shooting shows her innate touch at empathetic filmmaking.