'Before I Fall' - Movie Review
The film, like in the book, glories in explicitly iffy teen behavior – wild partying, sex, verbal and physically abusive bullying, disrespect to elders and lying. And it takes a while before it can do right
'Before I Fall' poster
'Before I Fall'
Director: Ry Russo-Young
Cast: Zoey Deutch, Halston Sage, Medalion Rahimi, Cynthy Wu, Elena Kampouris, Jennifer Beals
'If Only' time was so warped as to lend you four-too-many chances at the same life. This sort of 'Groundhog Day' fixation can only happen in the movies. And it's becoming a sort of regular stereotypical tool for freshly minted novelists and filmmakers of Young Adult stories who grapple with limited budgets, yet aim for a 'cult' affectation. This film is an adaptation of Lauren Oliver's best-selling young-adult novel about 17-year-old Samantha Kingston, (Zoey Deutch), who, after a seemingly fatal car accident, wakes up to live the same Friday over and over again.
The film, like in the book, glories in explicitly iffy teen behavior – wild partying, sex, verbal and physically abusive bullying, disrespect to elders and lying. And it takes a while before it can do right by having Sam make a show of the hidden compassion and love dwelling within her.
'Before I Fall' dramatizes the final day in the life of a young, typical, high school teen, Sam (Zoey Deutch) who together with her three friends, self-described “bitches”, mean girl Lindsay (Halston Sage), wild child Elody (Medalion Rahimi), and passive-aggressive Ally (Cynthy Wu), make life a sort of living hell for family, friends and peers. But I guess like the filmmaker hopes to impress, there's more to Sam than her prickly exterior signifies. But it takes several tries before Sam can truly show us what she is. 'Be what you are' is the underlying theme here and it keeps hitting you in the face in the graffiti and assorted posters within the frames of this eerily imagined 'what if' story of a young girl's last day on earth.
This sort of a film is probably low budget because it harbors on repetition and contained locations and the time taken for the shooting would in all probably be lesser than a straightforward narrative feature. These sort of tricks also appeal to the target audience it caters to. The theme may be a little daring with its quasi supernatural bent but there's a lesson in there somewhere if you read between the lines and look closely enough. Unfortunately it's the bad behavior that gets repeated several times here and that's quite a worrying factor since this film is catering to the impressionably aged teen group. The overwhelming worry is that the goodness hidden within this exercise will be lost in the trumpeted fashionableness of teenage risqué behavior. So make the most of your today..if you understand what I mean?
Watch 'Before I Fall' trailer