The Fallout: Proving Life Goes on Beyond Trauma and Grief

By J1 Reporter Meghan Bartness

The Fallout is an eye opening and harsh teenage drama about the world we’re living in. Within the first nine minutes of the movie, the two main characters Vada and Mia are trapped in the bathroom as one of their classmates becomes a school shooter. 

Affected by new friendships made under sudden and tragic circumstances, the main character Vada begins to reinvent herself while reevaluating her relationships and her view of the world.

Moving away from her comfortable family routine, she starts taking chances with a series of decisions that test her own boundaries and put her in new directions. As she spends more time with Mia, they grow closer and she slowly redefines herself through their shared traumatic  experience.

Source: IMDB

This debut feature from director Megan Park gets the stories right about how painfully awkward and strange the effects of trauma can often be, especially when experienced by a group of teenagers.

Park empathizes the realism with her low key and small details, to her poetic shots that highlight how much the film is centered on the Gen Z experience. 

This movie has a collection of odd actresses and actors we would never imagine putting together, like Jenna Ortega (Vada), Maddie Ziegler (Mia), Shailee Woodley (Anna) and Niles Fitch (Quinton). These new and old faces work so well together and they all do the vitally important job of portraying the different emotions that this event could bring teenagers.

Ortega, who plays the main character, Vada, nails her role as a “chill” 16-year-old who is reeling from an unthinkable event on top of the usual growing pains. The movie showcases her impulsive and bizarre outbursts as she tries to reckon with a picture of adolescent grief.

The movie doesn’t have a satisfying conclusion. As one might expect from the work that revolves around coping with current events, not everything in Vada’s life has been nearly resolved by the end of the movie. After all, trauma never really goes away; it grows and evolves. 

The Fallout is a teenage drama with a running time of 1 hour and 36 minutes. The soundtrack by Phineas O’Connell highlights the emotions felt throughout the film. This movie is rated R for mature themes and mild cursing. You can find this movie exclusively on HBO Max. 

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The Network is the student newspaper of Marian High School, Nebraska's only Class A College-Preparatory School for young women.

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