#REVIEW: “BEFORE I FALL”
Review by Amanda Gilmore for Mr. Will Wong
It’s a mix between Mean Girls and Groundhog Day for a new generation, with an important message.
Before I Fall follows Samantha Kingston (Zoey Deutch) who has everything she could want going through high school: she’s popular, beautiful, has the most drooled after boyfriend and has a close knit of popular best friends. When she wakes up on February 12 she goes about her day as usual until she realizes its her last. Yet, she wakes up again only to find out she’s re-living February 12. She ends up being forced to relive her last day until she figures out how to be a better person and the mystery surrounding her death.
The Film does many things right but most importantly the message about the effects of bullying. The scenes where the bullies are harassing a fellow student are at times heartbreaking and horrifying. The reason for this is because it doesn’t follow the day of someone who is being bullied, instead it follows one of the girls and her close friends who are the bullies. Therefore, you are able to see and hear what they are doing and how they feel about doing it. It’s a unique take on the bully-narrative Film. What’s even better is the fact that all these so-called “mean girls” are multi-dimensional characters. In doing this, there is an explanation for their behaviour.
Zoey Deutch carries the Film effortlessly. Each time she wakes up to find out she’s re-living the same day over again, she has a different emotion. She’s extremely versatile and this is the role that gives her the ability to show off that versatility. Everything Deutch wants to say she doesn’t need to because her eyes give away all the hurt, curiosity, happiness and fear that Samantha is feeling. Not only is Deutch great but the other cast members hold their own in the supporting categories. Particularly Halston Sage who plays the leader of the “mean girl” group, Lindsay, and Elena Kampouris who plays the outcast-bullied character, Juliet.
Before I Fall is a Film that has a strong message about bullying. Yet, it also has a strong message about being able to change and what you would want your last day to be like. It might be a Film adapted from a Young Adult novel but Before I Fall is for people of all ages.
Elevation Pictures release BEFORE I FALL Friday, March 3, 2017.