Directed by Megan Park
Starring Jenna Ortega, Maddie Ziegler, Julie Bowen, John Ortiz, Niles Fitch, Shailene Woodley
I had no idea this film existed, to be honest, I went into the movie without even seeing a trailer, I just read the brief description on the HBO Max app and since it was a recently added movie I decided to see it.
The film touches on a sensitive subject, to be honest, and I usually don’t go into giving many details, but I will in this case. The description said that there was an act of violence and that was what affected the main character, but I never even suspected what was the act. I think I can say it because in the trailer it is explained. The film is about Vada and how she copes with a school shooting. Vada finds comfort with her friend Mia who was with her when the event took place. The film focuses on the effect this had on Vada and those around her.
I have to admit as I write this I’m still in tears. The writing on this movie was so good and I think very honest. The scene when the shootings happen was so tense without showing anything except those two girls hiding in the bathroom stall. Another thing I liked about the film is that we see how it affected the whole family. The parents who don’t know what to do and a scene where her father screams in frustration that he is afraid to send his kids to school was heart-breaking but I believe so true for many parents. It also has different reactions from other students that add a lot to the story.
I loved the film, and it is hard to say that because I wish things like that never happened, but since they do it is important to have films that show the effects beyond those lost to, hopefully, bring change. It is a story of overcoming and moving on. I do have to say that what affected me most was the ending, it completely blindsided me.
Jenna Ortega was impressive as Vada. Her performance was moving, she was able to bring to the screen what this character was struggling with. So was Maddie, as her character had no family with her, she reflected the loneliness and how scared the character was. Carlos Cavell plays the role of Vada’s father and there is a great scene between his character and Vada that was so moving and beautifully acted by both.
I thought that it was a beautifully written movie and the performances are worth seeing. But it is a hard movie to see considering the subject.