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An emotional film with a predictable storyline

By Anamaria Popovska

For the past month, ads for the movie "The Fallout" have been everywhere. I've personally seen these ads showing up on literally every corner; they popped up while I was watching KUWTK on Hulu, Euphoria on HBO Max, and Emma Chamberlain on YouTube.

The movie's referred to as "The First Defining Movie of Gen Z." So naturally, as someone who's a part of that generation, I couldn't wait for the movie to come out to see if it's worth the hype.

The movie follows 16-year-old Vada (Jenna Ortega) during the aftermath of a school shooting that she experienced while being trapped in a bathroom stall with class "celebrity" Mia (Maddie Ziegler) and classmate Quinton (Niles Fitch). After this traumatizing experience, Vada goes through a range of emotions and turns to different coping methods.

Let's break down the storyline; the movie begins quite strong, with one of the most powerful scenes in just the first ten minutes, setting the tone. This fast-paced nature can be a good or bad thing.

Sometimes you start a movie off strong to reel the audience in, but, on the flip side, that can also make it harder to keep their attention throughout the rest of the film. That was the downfall of "The Fallout" — the rest of the film was not as impactful as its opening, and the movie got progressively more mundane as it continued.

The storyline felt very predictable, but honestly, that's the point. The movie represents an ongoing issue that we've all heard of or sadly even experienced. It did so very well by focusing on the impacts the school shooting had on Vada. By showing her range of emotions and her coping methods, the film portrayed how one's life changes instantly after a horrific event like this.

However, for someone who likes to be kept on her toes and engaged throughout a movie (honestly, TikTok has shortened my attention span considerably), a very predictable film is not my favorite.

On the other hand, the acting is impressive; Jenna Ortega exceeded my expectations. Her range of emotions and ability to embody Vada made me feel as though all the events in the movie were based on real-life experiences. Additionally, there is fantastic chemistry between the two main characters, Vada and Mia.

There were also subtle references to actual events in the movie, such as Vada's friend Nick starting an anti-school shooting rally and speaking out about the experience. The aspect of Zoom included also linked the film to modern-day pandemic times.

The film finished as strongly as it started with the last scene showing Vada outside on her phone. A news article pops up showing a new school shooting, and Vada bursts into tears. This scene puts into perspective the events in the movie and how school shootings continue to take the lives of countless students. It calls attention to gun control and the society we live in today, bringing the whole movie and Vada's story together.

Whether or not you have a short attention span like me, this movie is definitely a must-see — especially if you are in Gen Z. The film accurately reflects the emotions we as students feel after hearing about the school shootings occurring around us.

After watching the movie, you might find yourself questioning what you can do to prevent another innocent student's life from being taken. So, if you have time, consider watching "The Fallout," and remember that these are real tragedies that our generation is facing.


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