My criteria when reviewing a movie is simple. Is it engaging? Is the message clear? Do the issues the characters face (regardless of their age) resonate with people of all ages? Does the story provoke thoughts that linger after the film is over? BEFORE I FALL does it all.
BEFORE I FALL is NOT a dramatic tragedy, although we know at the very beginning of the film, when her morning alarm goes off, that Samantha Kingston will die that night. With that one day to live being Cupid’s Day, Samantha, a beautiful, privileged, popular, self-entitled High School mean-girl, relives the day again and again. Each relived-day begins the same, but each relived-day reveals new details about Samantha’s friends and insight into Samantha.
With a wonderfully written screenplay, believable acting by the entire cast, and excellent artistic direction, the construction of this film works well. Each relived-day shows Samantha behaving and reacting differently in the varied versions of the incidents that lead up to her death; and in each version another question is answered, bringing with it a different conclusion as to how her death occurred.
By the end of BEFORE I FALL the intent was clear. If you knew that you had only one day to live, how would you live it? Would you think about the way you treat people, spend your time and how you would like to be remembered? BEFORE I FALL is a story that resonates with people of all ages, and I was committed to living each day as if it were my last. Thumbs up on this one.
Novel by Lauren Oliver
Screenplay Maria Maggenti
Ry Russo-Young, Director
Zoey Deutch – Samantha Kingston
Medalion Rahimi – Elody (best friend)
Cynthy Wu – Allison Harris (best friend)
Halston Sage – Lindsey Edgecomb (best friend)
Kian Lawley – Rob Cokran (boyfriend)
Logan Miller – Kent McFuller (childhood friend with crush on Samantha)
Elena Kampouris – Juliet Sykes (victim of bullying)
Erica Tremblay – Izzy Kington (Samantha’s young sister)
Jennifer Beals – Samantha’s Mom
Nicholas Lea – Samantha’s Dad