‘Before I Fall’ (2017): A Time-Loop Teenage Drama (Review)


Before I Fall is about the girl named Samantha Kingston who relives her last day over and over again until she goes through a journey in which she realizes who she really is and who she wants to become. Directed by Ry Russo-Young and written by Maria Maggenti, the film is based on a 2010 novel by Lauren Oliver.

‘Before I Fall’ Movie Review and Film Summary

The movie opens with the 17-year-old Samantha “Sam” who gets killed in a car accident while returning from a party with her friends. She vividly describes her death, but she wakes up the next morning thinking of her experience was just a nightmare.

Sam’s day of death, who she relives goes like this: on Cupid’s Day (Feb 12) she is picked up by her friends Lindsey, Ally, and Elody to school. During the class, she is gifted with a rose from her boyfriend and also one from her childhood friends Kent, who later invites her to a party. During lunch, they pass comments about a girl named Juliet who is liked by none.

In the evening they all joined the party at Kent’s home and as they’re having fun, Juliet also shows up and they all have a fight with her, with Juliet leaving in tears. As they drive back home, their car hits something and crashes, eventually killing Sam and her friends.

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Sam realizes that she is trapped in a time-loop reliving that one fateful day again and again. Soon she starts realizing the importance of her life, the perfect life in which she has a loving family, caring friends, and a perfect guy. She also begins to question everything in terms of what is right or wrong and hence tries to change everything, but she has only one day.

Watch ‘Before I Fall’ Movie Trailer

Before I Fall is an incredible film in many aspects. It is a film where you see strong-headed teenagers who live their life in their way, even though some of them are mean-spirited. While initially, you won’t sympathize with Sam, you will soon start liking the character as she tries to change everything around her, even by changing herself.

The film’s message is to “become who you are.” In the film, Sam is shown trying a lot to avoid the car accident and her fate, but eventually, she realizes that her fate is tied to another individual. The film also puts some kind of backstory for the characters to, at least, make it believable that the nature of its main character simply doesn’t make a U-turn.

Nevertheless, Before I Fall is a thought-provoking film with a few moral lessons. The film never tries too hard to prove its point, rather supported by a very nice storyline and a very good performance by Zoey Deutch as Sam. A must-watch indeed!

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‘Before I Fall’ – Synopsis & Other Details

What if you had only one day to change absolutely everything? Samantha Kingston has everything: the perfect friends, the perfect guy, and a seemingly perfect future. Then, everything changes. After one fateful night, Sam wakes up with no future at all. Trapped reliving the same day over and over, she begins to question just how perfect her life really was. As she begins to untangle the mystery of a life suddenly derailed, she must also unwind the secrets of the people closest to her, and discover the power of a single day to make a difference, not just in her own life, but in the lives of those around her–before she runs out of time for good.

Genres: Drama, Mystery
Starring: Logan Miller, Kian Lawley, Elena Kampouris, Diego Boneta, and Jennifer Beals.
Director: Ry Russo-Young
Music: Adam Taylor
Cinematography: Michael Fimognari
Release Date/Year: January 21, 2017 (Sundance); March 3, 2017 (United States)

This post is written, edited and published by the Cinecelluloid staff.

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