OSE Flossie Pugh stars in The Falling

Florence Pugh (Mac’s, 2009-2014) stars alongside Game of Thrones actor Maisie Williams in a chilling independent film in which a mysterious illness grips a 1960s girls’ grammar school. The opening credits of peaceful and picturesque English countryside are tainted by the eerie music which haunts the film throughout, leaving us in no doubt that the country school is home to something undesired.

One by one, pupils start to faint repeatedly, entering a euphoric state and causing mass panic amongst them — all of which is ignored by parents and teachers. Florence and Maisie play best friends whose worlds are torn about by the events that unfold. Abbie, played by Flossie, is a confident leader of the girls, and adventurous and daring with the boys she meets, leaving Lydia, played by Maisie, in the shadows. With an enchanting singing voice and the nonchalant attitude of her character, Flossie captures the centre of attention in every scene as a rebellious outsider, too big for the world that surrounds her, stifling and suffocating.

As illness and fear spread, Lydia becomes angry and confused, shunned by her teachers and mother as the primary troublemaker. Dark secrets are revealed in the wake of an illegal act as Lydia attempts to convince everyone that her illness is real rather than a mere cry for the attention so desperately craves.

The friendship between the girls on camera is tactile and intimate, whilst the music – some of which was composed by the girls on set – is beautifully expressive of sinister undertones, The pristine hair and costume of headmistress Alvaro, played by Monica Dolan, is a stark contrast to the chaos erupting in the school around her, a reality she shuns. Aside from the mysterious illness which haunts them, the girls face issues typical of the modern teenager, striving for the creation of their own unique identity and sexual maturity to heighten their social status in a world where the incorrect length of a school skirt is a punishable offence.

Review by Laura Hill, Alumni Relations Officer

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