before I fall

by - 15 November

I watched this film last night and was pleasantly surprised by how meaningful it was.

When I first saw the trailer I knew it was the type of movie that would catch my eye, but somehow life caught on and I didn't have time to watch it in the cinema.

Fast forward to now, to me sitting in my PJs looking for a lil soul food before I actually got around to it.
"One good thing, just follow one good thing and see where it leads you."
This was one of the quotes from the film, spoken by Sam's mother. I would consider this to be timely advice for myself as well because I seem to be stuck in this conundrum again (for the umpteenth time this year). It helped me put a lot of things into perspective, something I wasn't really expecting out of the movie. 

This was an adaptation of the book by Lauren Oliver. If I'm not mistaken, I've read a couple of her books before and so her name seemed familiar to me but I don't remember reading Before I Fall. 

I shall not dwell on the synopsis as you'd probably be able to find a better one on google, but what I do want to highlight is how this film made me rethink about the choices I make on a day to day basis, no matter how small or mundane they may be.

Long story short, Samantha gets to relive this one day over and over again in the course of the film and it repeats itself regardless of how the main character tries to make changes to the day. The first half of the movie is pretty much the same as the trailer, but it was only in the second half of the movie when things start to shift and fall into perspective.

I don't want to give away too much, but I think this movie sends an important message about the effects of bullying; it not only highlights the impact that the bully has on the victim, but also how people who watch on contribute to the bullying culture as well.

Many people don't realise that by keeping quiet or turning a blind eye when you see someone being bullied, it adds onto that person's suffering. You have the ability to change someone's life by making the right choice.

This topic definitely struck a chord in me, which is why I would urge everyone to go see this film. 

Apart from the bullying aspect, I also find that another motif found in this movie was about making conscious choices. As the main character relived the same day over and over again, we are able to see the evolution of her thoughts and behaviour from the very first day, to the final time she relived that day. 

At the start, you'd notice the way she went about her day was very thoughtless - she just went about the motions of a normal day and took everything for granted. This kinda relates to how people generally go about their lives. We're so used to living that we don't realise all these things are temporary and life itself is but a bleep in the universe. 

As the days progresses, you start to see Samantha shift from being obnoxious, to being in denial, then to being angry before finally settling in acceptance. She realised how she should be living this last day - to make each second count and to treasure the people in her life. She also made use of this second chance to make a difference and live meaningfully. 

This movie should really make you think about the way we are living life and how to make this lifetime count. 

Having this thought in my head helped pushed me in finding meaning in the things I enjoy doing and also making sure I tell the people in my life I love them. It also reminded me to do the best I can do and not let the fear of the unknown or what people may think stop me from doing what I like. After all, everything is temporary and what you do matters only to yourself. 

It has given me the leap of faith I very much needed, and together with my practice of Nichiren's Buddhism I feel like I've been propelled into a state of life where I am at peace with myself and have a concrete direction to move towards.

I would 100% recommend this movie if you haven't already caught it!

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