The Fallout was one of the most exciting movies released in 2021. Starring Jenna Ortega as Vada and Maddie Ziegler as Mia, the movie offers a deep psychological take on how a teenager could feel after experiencing the tragic experience of a school shooting. The film has an excellent mix of psychological drama, teenage context, and real-life situations, so people loved it. One of the critical moments of the movie is the shooting scene, which marks the beginning of a deep bond between Mia and Vada. Let’s delve into it.
You can watch the official trailer for The Fallout here on Youtube.
The Fallout: how the shooting scene marked the start of a deep bond between Mia and Vada
The shooting scene takes place in the first minutes of The Fallout, and we can see Mia and Vada in the school bathroom, chatting lightheartedly before they hear the first gunshots. You can watch the whole scene below.
The scene is shocking. We don’t see guns, and we have no awareness of how things are going out of that bathroom, but obviously, that makes things even scarier. We are more afraid of what we don’t know or understand, and being isolated in that space, although it gives us a better sense of safety, puts us in a position of enormous uncertainty.
Mia and Vada are instantly changed. You can see it in their face: one moment earlier, they were two normal teenagers, focused on the simple activities people their age should do, like makeup, chatting, and having a pleasant time. The fear that emerges in their faces is something that probably was never experienced in their life. At that moment, the trauma explodes. The arrival of Quinton, with his brother’s blood on his shirt, gives more reality to what is happening. That’s when Mia starts throwing up.
You can clearly see how Vada’s life will change from that moment. What we saw before that scene is a teenager with a nice relationship with her little sister, able to be supportive and present, interested in sharing things of life with her or with her friend Nick (as we can see in the scene where they sing Juice Wrld’s song together). After the shooting scene, Vada can no longer bond with people who didn’t experience that trauma. She seems to have nothing to talk about within her family or with Nick. It’s like being suddenly thrown into an alternate reality of fear and pain: there is no space for simple chatting, like the rest of her family does.
That’s why Vada bonds so much with Mia: they are together in this new life, and they can surely relate to what the other feels. Their relationship becomes, therefore, an essential step in processing what happened. Mia and Vada share important moments of their life together. They are together when they fall asleep; they go together to Quinton’s brother’s service; they will have sex for the first time, together. Their relationship becomes a nest where they become adults at an accelerated pace. Being sure that they are understood.
There is a crucial moment in the shooting scene: we can see Vada grabbing her phone and texting someone. Later in the movie, we will discover that she was writing “I love you” to her sister, the first person she wanted to contact when she was afraid to die. This will be the first bridge to the reconstruction phase in Vada’s life: in an intimate moment with her little sister, Vada realizes that moving on implies restoring a part of the life that was before. Which means collecting energy from the simple bonds that belong to her previous life: her parents, her sister, and her normal friends. Even if they will introduce a different, lighter mood in the conversations.
If The Fallout is a movie about processing trauma, the shooting scene is the watershed that marks the border between two different lives: Mia and Vada will find each other on the other side of that terrible experience, becoming adults together.