Reviews of HBO’s The Fallout

Reviews of HBO’s The Fallout

Esmeralda Ortega, Senior

The long-awaited HBO film directed by Megan Park, titled The Fallout, was released on January 27, 2022. 

Park’s directorial debut covers the very real problem of school shootings, and it follows the life of 16-year-old Vada after she is unfortunately caught in a horrific shooting at her school. There will be spoilers in this article, so please read with caution. 

Vada Cavell is played by 19-year-old actress Jenna Ortega, who is well known for her roles in TV shows such as You and Stuck in the Middle, as well as films like Netflix’s Yes Day and Scream (2022). Julie Bowen plays Patricia, Vada’s mother, John Ortiz plays Carlos, Vada’s father, Will Ropp plays Nick, Vada’s best friend, and Maddie Ziegler paired with Niles Fitch play Mia and Quinton respectively, two students Vada finds herself with when the shooting takes place. 

Before the terrible incident began, Vada left class to talk on the phone with her little sister, and upon finishing their call, went to use the bathroom. One of the most popular girls at the school, Mia, was in the bathroom doing her makeup when Vada walked in. The two begin to converse and then the first gunshot is heard; they quickly run and hide in a stall together, igniting a very unlikely bond between the two. 

When elaborating on what effect she wanted this project to have on the world, director Megan Park expressed, “I had this opportunity as an artist to use my voice to hopefully change something or make someone feel less alone.” Park further revealed that she had the idea of creating a film regarding how young people cope with the trauma of an event like the one presented in The Fallout.

When speaking on how this movie reflects our society, Patriot High School senior Estefhania Lopez shares, “I think this film wonderfully shows just how traumatic a tragedy like a school shooting is and it makes one reconsider whether our government is doing all that it can to keep us safe.” School should never be a place where kids have to worry about their safety, and the fact that kids today have to think about such events is a huge problem that our generation faces. 

This movie contains beautiful relationships and so many emotions that keeps its audience on the edge of their seat, anxiously anticipating what comes next. This film is one to watch.