TITLE: Before I Fall
DIRECTOR: Ry Russo-Young
RUN TIME: 99 minutes
SUMMARY: After a car accident, Samantha Kingston is forced to relive the same day over and over again until she starts reevaluating her life and those around her.
STARRING: Zoey Deutch | Halston Sage | Logan Miller | Kian Lawley | Jennifer Beals | Elena Kampouris
GENRE: Teen Drama
NOTE: This is the movie adaptation of Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
I read the book a eons ago and I don’t remember exact details, but I knew the general premise and that very annoying ending.
Right off the bat, I found Sam’s group of friends very annoying. The typical popular mean girls with no regards for people’s feelings. It also didn’t help that they were clearly affluent middle class (rich maybe) teens, with clearly, a lot of privilege.
None of this seems to bother Sam, after all she is part of it, and therefore part of the problem. Fortunately, as she start reliving the same day over and over again, she starts realizing that her group of friends are not the nicest people around. She begins to have a change of heart, and this is when I start falling in love with Sam and her story.
I forgot how dark the story was, sure it is about a young woman in purgatory or limbo (meaning she’s probably dead), but it has other issues like teen drinking, bullying, and suicide. Watching Sam’s journey, it was a reminder to be nice to people because you don’t know what they’re going through, or if it’s their last day.
In that respect, it reminds me of Thirteen Reasons Why, except this is much lighter in comparison.
I thought most of the actors were spectacular and delivered great performances. How do I know this? Because I didn’t cringe. Not once.
The pacing is also great because I didn’t feel bored watching it at all. I thought I would feel bored knowing the movie was about reliving the same day again, and again, and again… and again. They were able to show the monotony of living the same day every day and still change it enough so it doesn’t become monotonous.
The scenery and overall setting was both aesthetically pleasing and peaceful. Maybe it’s because I don’t know what winter is, but I loved seeing the winter season on display.
The ending is very much like the book, but it has a couple of differences from it too. And, if I’m honest, I prefer the movie ending than the book ending, but I still don’t like it. I think it’s still very vague. I might even write my own satisfying ending and awkwardly staple it to the back of the book or movie.
Overall, I did like the movie. I think I might even love it in spite of the ending. It’s very faithful to the book and it delivers a positive message everyone should listen to.
From what I remember, Sam’s ending is so vague it’s never stated whether she was in limbo, dead, coma, purgatory, or anything. It ends on an awkward point and left me asking, wanting, begging, pleading, praying for more than what I got. The movie, does a better job, but not really. By the end of her last day, Sam realizes that the accident was caused by Juliet, who is bullied by Sam and her friends and tried to kill herself that night by getting in the middle of the road. On her last day in limbo or purgatory (or whatever it is) Sam is determined to save Juliet from committing suicide, and she does exactly that by pushing her away from an incoming car and gets hit herself. It’s clear, not stated, that Sam is dead, but it still not satisfying for me. Why? Because all of this happens in this alternate purgatory universe, meaning we still don’t know what happened to the real Sam, or her friends, or even Juliet. Is Sam really dead? Or Sam in a coma? It’s still possible.
For her last day, Sam shows unconditional love to everyone she encounters and I thought that was beautiful. She was even nice to Lindsay, who I still don’t like. That’s why I think this is ultimately positive and beautiful movie.