The Fallout is a thought-provoking Gen Z film

The Fallout is a film about a school shooting and a shocking, moving portrayal of teenage life, grief, exploration, and finding friendship in unlikely situations. I would strongly recommend it to anyone seeking a film that would genuinely make them think critically about the world we live in.  Considering the strong subject matter, I would warn anyone who feels triggered by such events to refrain from watching, and encourage younger students to perhaps watch it with an older friend or family member.

The plot of the film centers around high schooler Vada and how a school shooting alters the lives of her classmates and her. It provides insightful commentary on the friendships that emerge during highly traumatic experiences by exploring the relationships between different characters before, during, and after the shooting. 

Maddie Ziegler and Jenna Ortega star as Mia and Veda, high school polar opposites whose close bond is forged from hiding together in the bathroom during the shooting. I was impressed by their performances, particularly because these roles are much deeper and more emotional than this reality TV star and ex-Disney star have taken in the past. They are clearly capable of working with complex and mature material. One aspect of the film that really struck me was how realistic the acting was, which truly added to the film in both moments of friendship as well as terror. 

Though I was initially skeptical of the advertising citing The Fallout as “the first defining movie of Gen Z,” by the end of the film I couldn’t help but agree. The dialogue and atmosphere of 2020s post-pandemic high school were scarily realistic, especially the incorporation of aspects of modern teenage life such as TikTok trends, song choices, fashion styles, social media, and Zoom. It captured the authenticity of being a 2020s teenager without feeling too much like it was written for this generation by older generations, especially highlighting the fear many high school students across America share of school shootings. However, I believe that the message of the film transcends generation gaps and would be thoughtfully appreciated by older individuals as well.

Comments are closed.