“The Fallout” is a gut-wrenching portrait of trauma.

Vada (Jenna Ortega), Mia (Maddie Ziegler), and Quinton (Niles Fitch) form a unique bond as they each navigate their emotional trauma from a tragic school shooting,

Meghan Park’s directorial debut gutted me. Granted this epidemic in our country upsets me enough as it is, but Park’s delicate approach to capturing a harrowing subject in such a low-key yet moving way is unforgettable.

I grew up with high school narratives that were predictable and always ended happily, or at least “normally”. Gen Z is not having a normal experience and their coming of age narratives aren’t afraid of shying away from the messiness of reality. And unfortunately school shootings have become part of that reality.

Through a mixture of heavy material sprinkled with moments of evity, Park packs a powerful punch creating a razor ship exploration of trauma and survivor’s guilt.

Although The Fallout touches on how many teens are coping with this tragedy, at the core the is a character study on Ortega’s Vada.

And wow. Ortega is a damn force.

Her emotional vulnerability and rawness is devastating. Honestly between Scream and The Fallout, she is having one hell of a breakout year proving she is way more than a Disney Channel star. Also, good for Ziegler, who finally redeems herself, proving she can actual do something without SIA or Dance Moms by her side.

But what I admired the most about this well crafted narrative was its fearlessness to be authentic and messy.

Definitely worth the watch, but please note that some of the content may be triggering and very upsetting.

Final Thoughts: The Fallout is an unafraid and authentic portrait of trauma. A definite must-see.

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