Movie trailer review:  Before I Fall

Image of first movie poster from the movie BEFORE I FALL.  Image shows multiple images of star Zoey Deutch as if spliced, representing her repeating the same day over and over again.
Before I Fall revisits the concept of repeating the same day over and over again. Image courtesy of Open Road Films.

"If I was going to relive the same day over and over again, I'd want it to be a day that can make a difference" says time traveler Samantha Kingston in Before I Fall trailer.  

by Garry Murdock

 

Finishing high school can be a painful period in one's life. Just when you feel you've got it all together, the routine is suddenly over, and good friends are moving away.  Sure, there's social media to keep in touch, but it's not quite the same as being there, is it?

 

Samantha Kingston (Zoey Deutch) has these typical teenage worries, and is trying to enjoy her last days as a senior. And then the remarkable happens - after a terrifying car accident, she wakes up back in her bed and gets to experience the same Friday all over again.  And again... 

 

Much like Tom Cruise's character in Edge of Tomorrow, this time she is armed with the knowledge of what is to come, although it seems she can't avoid the car accident.  Maybe it's fate?  As for the rest of the day, she now sees things she failed to notice before:  the way she and her friends treated an outsider at a party, her mom's opinion of her, her little sister's feelings.  Maybe you think I'm giving away too much?  But no, I have not seen the movie.  The trailer, weighing in at 2:32 seconds, shows us all of this.

 

 

Image of elevated camera shooting actress Zoey Deutch waking up in bed, from the movie Before I Fall.
Before I Fall was shot in Squamish and Vancouver. Image courtesy of Open Road Films.

As a movie lover, I feel this has been a problem for a long time now with trailers, where essentially a whole movie is given away in a couple of minutes. It's not enough anymore to show what the movie's about, or who stars in it, but now we see exactly how the plot will unfold too.  It's possible that with time so valuable, studio research indicates that movie goers want to know everything in advance.  But that's unfortunate because I subscribe to the 'less is more' theory.  The trailer could have easily been effective, more powerful (and leave me wanting more), if it had ended at 90 seconds.  In fact, there seems to be a natural point to do so with this trailer right at that mark.   Instead, we see a lot more of Samantha trying to make things right, which would have been best saved for the actual movie going experience.  

 

I never forgave Director Robert Zemeckis for the TV spot that revealed that Tom Hank's character in Cast Away, Chuck Noland, had made it off the island.  Watching the actual movie was not the experience it could have been, because I knew going in there was no chance Chuck would not be rescued.  As for Before I Fall, will Samantha progress to Saturday?  I'm sure she will but that is really the only unanswered question.  I now know too much about her Friday and what awaits her.  All I have to look forward to is her arrival on Saturday. 

 

The movie is based on Lauren Oliver's novel, and no doubt the film will be endlessly compared to the excellent Groundhog Day - but this is no comedy. The actual time travel process is not explained in the trailer, and I suspect it won't be in the movie either.  Perhaps it will just be chalked up to 'divine intervention'.  I think it's important to explain how the time travel process works in a story, and you can read why here. 

 

So I guess the question is - Do I want to see this movie? Sure, it involves time travel and the trailer footage looks well acted and produced. I just won't be in as much of a rush. 

 

The current release date is March 3rd.  You can check out the trailer here. 

 

 


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