Movie-Blogger Review: When Today Ends
WHEN TODAY ENDS (2021) FILM REVIEW
Federico Furzan | September 19, 2021
The subject approached in When Today Ends is so controversial and so real and so important, you almost wonder if the film is an actual shot in the dark. If it’s just a good idea for telling a story that needs to be told but whose target was never thought of.
Those possibilities are present in the viewing experience. However, When Today Ends is a film so engaging that it becomes a brutal and necessary conversation about something real, and nothing else beyond that. It doesn’t need to be an industry-changing film. It only needs to spark a discussion about its theme.
This is how the found footage element comes to mind. Some would call it exploitative and derisive. But it’s inevitable to think about the current societal lifestyles and their relation with social media. Personally, it sounds and it feels like a direct jab to society’s incompetence in addressing the real issue. Social media and its opportunities for engagement are a mere resource in a bigger battle.
And that battle and its battle field has to do with teenage anxiety, and its dangerous and shameful causes.
In When Today Ends, four stories are told. The frame story has to do with a jarring initial sequence that sets the course for the rest of the film. The rest regard a beautiful girl whose social media presence is fairly decent but whose mother is constantly “degrading”, a person who does not identify as cis and whose family doesn’t acknowledge, and a boy who suffers bullying from his peers. All of them show their lives on social media and try to survive in a society that doesn’t support them at all.
The statistics of teen suicide are harrowing. This is an issue that needs to be faced. This isn’t a secret.
What films like When Today Ends do is shed light on a subject that’s in the dark. The root of the problem isn’t the act of suicide itself. It’s what is behind a horrendous act of definite self harm. This is what the film portrays as an inevitable fate. Michael Leoni, writer and director, doesn’t try to hide how the film will end. He just forces us to analyze what went wrong, and how it could have been prevented.
When Today Ends isn’t a cautionary tale. It’s a realistic film with a backdrop that’s eerily common to how we live. We’re always shooting videos and taking pictures. Conversations are now mostly carried over in a virtual environment and contact seems to be secondary. I’m not saying that to solve teen suicide we need to lose technology. We just need to listen to the messages that are constantly being posted.
The stories are edited together by a young man in When Today Ends. It’s an unexpected turn for a film that’s heartbreaking in nature. However, there is hope. There is light at the end of the tunnel. And that light is shined upon by peers most of all. It’s a beautiful and relevant message that would have been corny in any other movie. In When Today Ends it just gave me hope after a terrifying glance at a reality that we need to talk about sooner than later.