‘Before I Fall’ Review
Adapted by writer Maria Maggenti this young adult film directed by Ry Russo-Young is an adaption of the 2010 novel Before I Fall. It opened in cinemas in March. Sharing characteristics of R. J. Culter’s ‘If I stay’ and Mark Waters ‘Mean girls’. The movie tells the story in which the popular school girl dies unexpectedly only to reawaken and find herself back at the start of that same day. Young socialite Samantha, played by up and coming actress Zoey Deutch, is forced to relive the same day until she gets it right after meeting with an uncertain fate.
Samantha (Deutch) is easily relatable for any young adult. The movies display’s typical teen behaviour – wild partying, sex, over appearance, rampant casual bullying and requisite lessons about life that are often the hardest ones to learn. Samantha is a well-liked high school sweetheart with popularity, a jerk off for a boyfriend and beauty who, meets with a tragic end.
Teen royalty, beautiful, confident and full of sass Sam has it good, living the seemingly easy life of a ‘queen bee’ rich kid second only to her best friend (Halston Sage). Cupids day, or Valentine’s Day, is the glorious, or seemly glorious day Samantha awakens to like any other. Showered with her fair share of roses with love letters attached she lives her day like any other.
With an assuredly brightly looking fabulous future ahead, Sam glides through life without more than a parting glance at the past. On February 12, as Sam and three members of her ‘mean girls’ clique are leaving their underage, dirty dancing house party. Like most tragic car accidents, it features a long dark highway, heavy rainfall and an oncoming truck. The SUV rollover, which was slightly overshadowed and melodramatic, leaves all in the car presumably dead, but instead of waking from a deep sleep in hospital surrounded by loved ones or not at all Sam awakes in her bedroom.
Awakening to a deja vu experience Sam relives the same day repeatedly only to find its a loop. The movie is full of momentous issues such as popularity and the flattery, high school rivalry, and appears to be asking Sam to come to terms with her past present and future actions, words and choices. Consequently, Sam is perplexed with some of the most compelling and confronting questions life asks when reliving the same Friday.
The movie is seemingly designed to pose questions about life and how you want to be remembered after school. It is an eye opening experience for any teen and while slightly dull at times does send a strong message. The day relived by Sam gives her a good outlook on life and allows for her to make up for 4 years of ‘bad bitch’ bullying scenarios that are played out before the viewer’s eyes. Sam finds herself asking her high school crush Kent (Logan Miller) for help and begins to realise that there might just be more to life.
In the end, though, the movie asks the audience, to question the importance of second chances and develops a meaningful and strong perception of life. The performance of young up and coming cast in a ‘feel good’ movie that tugs at the heart and will reconcile well with the young audience that it is designed to attract.