Irish Film Critic: When Today Ends review

Background.png

MOVIE REVIEW: “WHEN TODAY ENDS” IS A HYPER-REAL AND MODERN DEPICTION OF TEENAGE SUICIDE

“The film has a hyper-realistic style of filming that tends to let you forget you’re watching something fictional.”


Four teenagers post their personal stories online using the hashtag, #WhenTodayEnds. With no filter and complete abandon, Jenna, Nick, Megan, and James all share their deepest, darkest secrets only to fall eerily down the same path.

“When Today Ends,” tells the story of four teens who are each suffering within their own lives. Each of these young people records their deepest, most personal secrets on social media. The only thing linking these four stories to one another is that they posted these heartbreaking videos, all with the same hashtag, #WhenTodayEnds.

Michael Leoni continues his run of emotionally impactful stories with this latest film. This time he takes his storytelling from the stage to the silver screen, telling the story of depression and desperation regarding teen suicide. The film has a hyper-realistic style of filming that tends to let you forget you’re watching something fictional. It’s also compounded by the incredible performances from the leads Derick Breezee, Jacqi Vene, and Gavin Leatherwood. Each of whom brings depth and complexity to their characters. A difficult feat as each actor had to deal with long monologues and deeply traumatic portrayals that will hit hard with audiences all whilst filming themselves.

What really stood out to me was the decision to shoot the film in a vlog-like style. It really allows us to develop a relationship with each of these characters as we voyeuristically follow them and witness, first hand, their experiences. The closeness the audience feels as we watch what’s happening or how they react to the circumstances they are presented really pulls you in. At times you are lulled into this space of pseudo-reality as you watch these intimate confessionals as if you had found them scrolling on your phone. Especially, considering the intense emotions portrayed by the actors. Despite the challenges of playing their own camera operators, they each give justice to their character’s specific story.

“When Today Ends” expertly depicts what is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to teen suicide and forces us to confront what so many ignore. Given our obsession with technology and social media, this film knows just how to maintain the audience’s attention using that obsession as a storytelling device.