“The Fallout:” a Gen Z defining movie


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“The Fallout” is hopefully to be the first of many Gen Z defining films.

Anna Baustert, Co-Editor-in-Chief

On Jan. 27 “The Fallout,” starring Jenna Ortega and Maddie Ziegler, came to HBO Max. This ‘Gen Z’ defining drama swiftly became one of the hot topics of social media. It amassed a 94 percent rating from Rotten Tomatoes and a 7/10 from IMDb.

The film follows two high school girls who undergo a series of traumatic events from a school shooting and how they must navigate their emotions in the aftermath. The main characters Vada (Ortega) and Mia (Ziegler) form an unexpected friendship through these unforeseen events. The two must learn to maneuver their emotions and how to cope with PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) from the event.

Vada finds herself struggling with her identity and wanting to ‘reinvent’ herself after the incident. She begins to move away from her comfortable family routine and into her own to push her boundaries. Mia has troubles with her self-identity along the way as well. Two girls from completely different backgrounds find each other and form a unique and unbreakable bond.

Ortega has become a popular actress online and has a rapidly growing fanbase. She has proved herself to be a very skilled actress with a wide range of genres for movies that she’s done. Many younger adults are ecstatic to see where her acting career will take her with future films. Ziegler is most known for her performances on the reality show “Dance Moms.” However, recently she has branched out with movie genres, and numerous fans are excited to see where her career will continue to take her.

With a theme as heavy as this in a movie, especially with younger actors, some could see it as more difficult to be able to portray these emotions. However, Ortega and Ziegler did phenomenal in illustrating their characters, such as when Vada tried drugs for the first time during school and a pen burst in her mouth. Their amazing theatrics truly brought them to light. It brought things into perspective, and made me think about the vastness and the reality of these scenarios. 

The familiarity of these situations for high school students has allowed for many young teens to find something to relate to. There have been very few films over the years that cover this particular aspect of high school, as most movies that revolve around high schoolers are more ‘mainstream’ or ‘coming-of-age’ themed.

While the severity of situations like this have been growing over the past years in public schools, bringing these topics to light is highly important for younger children.

With social media becoming more prevalent in the younger generation, many teenagers find themselves conforming to societal standards and teenagers begin to feel pressure of fitting into societal norms. As more ‘Gen Z’ defining media is released I hope that our generation can bring more awareness to these topics.

Contact Anna Baustert at [email protected]