Before I Fall
|Writer(s)||Maria Maggenti, Lauren Oliver|
|Release Date||July 7, 2017|
In 2017, Netflix has spoilt us with time travel Originals. We have had the dreadful Naked and the average Manga adaptation Erased. It is almost trial and error to perfect the concept. Well, kind of. Before I Fall came out way before the other two and I feel ashamed that it slipped through my fingers.
This latest Netflix Original is about Sam, who appears to be having a normal day without knowing it is her last. After a confused house party with her close-knit group of friends, she ends up killed in a terrible accident. Confusingly, she wakes up at the start of the day, same alarm clock, same situations… same day. After replaying her death, she realizes there must be a purpose to her reoccurring day and decides to untangle the mystery.
This actually sounds good…
Do not let the first twenty minutes fool you, because at first, the characters are insufferable. Sam and her friends portray a group who are ridiculously self-centered with no regard to what other people may feel. Essentially, they are bullies. Their social dynamic irritates you at the start. They make this huge deal that the day is Cupid Day and spend their time in school prepping Sam to lose her virginity to her docile boyfriend.
Your dislike for Sam and her friends at the start is the entire point of Before I Fall. You need to understand how far removed she is from reality, which serves as an emotional component worth waiting for.
What’s the rest of Before I Fall about?
Sam begins to realize the consequences of her last day after a couple of replays. She learns the hard truths about her group of friends, her relationship with her family, and the way they treat a particular girl at school. Before I Fall is about replaying the same timeline, but it is also about living your day as if it was your last.
The character development of Sam is the strongest element of the movie. It is a fantastic performance by Zoey Deutch, who convincingly shows her character in different shades. When she becomes less of a bully and more thoughtful, she radiates warmth, and it shines through her acting. The Netflix Original by default shows three different character types in Sam; the egocentric, the in-denial and the conscientious.
As Sam goes through each type, the film slowly absorbs you with the moving, progressive storyline. Before I Fall surprisingly strikes you emotionally. It caught me off guard.
Are there any reservations for Before I Fall?
At the surface, it does feel generic. You do feel you are watching one of those teen hit Netflix Originals that hits the streaming service every fortnight. Due to a great leading performance by Zoey, you almost forget the generic feel. The progress of the story is what entices you.
It sounds like you really enjoyed it?
I confess this is not the best movie, especially when it comes to travelling back in time. However, there is much to be enjoyed in Before I Fall. Despite its repetitiveness with the timelines, it does not sag. It provides revealing crumbs to keep you engaged. You know certain plot points will be important, like her sister running into her room every morning, or the girl they keep bullying at the party. It all serves a purpose.
Before I Fall is worth the watch, even if it is not a film that blows you away. It serves an emotional purpose where it truly appreciates the value of family, friends, love and the respect for other people. Movies that display time travel that can hit those emotional chords are worth being patient for.