Pop at Palmetto: “The Fallout” HBO Max Review

Ava Garcia, Staff Writer

On Thursday, Jan. 27, “The Fallout,” a new movie focusing on Gen-Z’s relationship to trauma, released on the streaming platform, HBO Max. “The Fallout” is a high school drama that provides a look into the different emotions students face following a school shooting. 

Jenna Ortega and Maddie Zigler star in this movie as Vada and Mia, the two main characters. This traumatic event brings these polar opposite teenagers together after hiding in a bathroom stall together during the shooting. Quinton, played by Niles Fitch, is another student who entered the bathroom stall with Vada and Mia, after losing his brother during the shooting. Vada’s best friend Nick, played by Will Ropp, channels his trauma into a movement to make a change in schools. He does not understand why Vada does not follow him in this, leading to a tear in their friendship. 

In today’s world, school shootings have become a recurring tragedy throughout the world. This movie centers on Gen-Z’s experiences through trauma and how it has further affected the characters as a whole. Many think that if one does not act a certain way after a hard situation, one simply must not care. This ongoing stereotype is proven false by the film. People react differently to situations; many laugh when nervous while others cry when happy. This movie demonstrates how after a tragic event, students at the school can have very different, distinct reactions, and not one of them was the “wrong” one to have. 

Jenna Ortega blows away audiences with her amazing performance as a teen going through an unthinkable event, on top of the daily struggles she faces. Maddie Ziegler, primarily known for starring in the reality television show “Dance Moms,” has proved her immense talent as an actress in her role of Vada.

Ortega and Ziegler’s onscreen chemistry is one of the many ongoing popular topics being discussed, especially on TikTok. Some argue that movies tend to misrepresent Gen-Z, but many viewers have brought up the fact that this movie has been the most accurate representation of the generation so far. 

Megan Park, actress and the director of “The Fallout,” put forth her vision on screens across the world. Since Park has had previous experience as an actress, this allowed her to further ensure that this movie would make a clear impact, correctly portraying the events that follow such a tragic occurrence. 

Within this one movie, there were many important topics of discussion. One being the importance of the impact school shootings have on teens; another is the fact that everyone reacts to trauma in different ways. The list goes on and on, since this is one of the first movies that has shone a light on topics many directors steer clear of. 

I hope that “The Fallout” can truly change the way movies continue to be viewed in our current society. Movies are not only a way to sit and relax, but a way to see the detrimental impacts real-world problems have on us as a whole.