The Fallout Doesn’t Sugarcoat Trauma


Courtesy of New Line Cinema

For the past couple of years, there has been more light being shined on school shootings and how they affect the people involved in them. “The Fallout” explores different teens’ emotions following a school shooting and shows how they deal with trauma in their own way.  

The story follows Vada, portrayed by Jena Ortega, the “chill”, nonchalant teenage girl, who is stuck in a bathroom during a school shooting with Mia, portrayed by Maddie Ziegler, who is the school’s “influencer.” While they both survive, they have a hard time moving on. Unlike Vada’s best friend, Nick, who channels his trauma into activism. 

The movie shows the after effects of the shooting and navigates through the different emotions and events that happen afterwards. 

While Vada is traumatized, she manages to make it seem like she is completely okay and is moving on just fine. Meanwhile, Mia reaches out to Vada, and they become extremely close. Their friendship becomes a necessity for both, as they feel like the other person is the only person that understands them. Mia and Vada lash out and go through a couple of unhealthy coping mechanisms. 

The movie does an amazing job at portraying teenagers’ emotions after living through a traumatic event. Although the topic is a bit overused and preachy, it perfectly portrays how strange the effects of trauma can often feel. It shows how unperfect and unfair the world can truly be, and doesn’t sugarcoat things.  

 In the last scene, Vada receives a news notification about a school shooting and has a severe panic attack, the scene closes with a black screen and her broken, ragged breathing in the background. 

Overall, the movie was a great representation of the things that go on around the world, how teens deal with and react to things. It’s not afraid to display how it feels to live in a world that is cruel, and imperfect.