“The Fallout” Delivers a Realistic Story

Movie review

The Fallout is a movie that follows the life of an average teenager who lives through a traumatic experience.


“The Fallout” is a movie that follows the life of an average teenager who lives through a traumatic experience.

Kassidy Spencer, Sports Editor

The Fallout is an R-rated movie currently streaming on HBO Max. The movie depicts some of the harsh realities of our world, more specifically a high school student’s world. Topics like school shootings and substance abuse make an appearance. Jenna Ortega, a previous Disney star, plays Vada Cavell who is a laid back teenager and an average student. Previous Dance Moms star, Maddie Ziegler, plays Mia Reed. The character Mia is a popular teenager and a well known dancer but is found to be introverted. The two girls run into each other in the bathroom when the first gunshot sounds during a school shooting; the storyline and the characters’ relationship unwinds from this moment. 

I really enjoyed the reality behind the story. Though the storyline is extremely dark, I found that it didn’t sugar coat the truths that we witness every day. Personally, I find some movies to be somewhat accurate but oftentimes over exaggerate or under exaggerate certain scenarios. For example, when Vada pulls Mia into the bathroom stall to hide, only seconds go by before more gunshots plunge through the school, and the two girls are left trembling with fear on the bathroom toilet as tears spill from their eyes. 

One of my favorite parts of the movie is when the main character realizes that she is pushing everyone away who loves her, so she goes and gives her mom a much needed hug and proceeds to explain the struggles she has been having and the coping mechanisms that she has turned to for support. I really enjoy this part because with these types of scenarios it affects the people around them, too, which is something I don’t think a lot of people realize. Personally, these scenes made me reflect on my own life and the relationships that people take for granted — it made me want to be more involved and present in the lives of the people I love. 

The ending was probably my least favorite part of the movie, but I believe that is somewhat because of the reality behind it. As the movie came to a close, I kept thinking, “It can’t be almost over, they haven’t had their happy ending yet,” but I realized that the experiences people go through affect them for the rest of their lives and there really is no forgetting it.

Jenna Ortega (Vada Cavell) and Maddie Ziegler (Mia Reed) stand in the bathroom together as the first gunshot sounds. (HBO Max)

I thought that the main characters, Jenna Ortega (Vada Cavell) and Maddie Ziegler (Mia Reed), did a really good job with their acting, as they offered so much emotion and expression in this movie. I’m not exactly sure if all of the parts in the movie were scripted, but one of the moments that made the movie feel so real was when Vada was talking to her ex-best friend Nick, played by Will Ropp, and they didn’t see eye to eye on how fast everyone should move on from the event. The scene was necessary to clearly illustrate the different time frames it takes each person to heal.

Overall, I really enjoyed the movie and would rate it a 4/5 stars. I definitely recommend The Fallout to mature audiences, though — everyone should be aware of the sensitive topics that are touched on. However, I think the movie can be eye opening because it realistically demonstrates how different people cope with tough situations and how we can all help each other out.