Before the Dawn Image

Before the Dawn

By Alan Ng | November 2, 2019

Did you guess? The guessing is the main problem with Before The Dawn, in that it’s incredibly predictable. It’s not hard to figure out the story arc of a film about an inappropriate teacher/ student relationship. It all starts professional, gets a little flirty, a little sex, attempts to hide the relationship, and ultimately publicly outed. I don’t think anyone is going to be surprised by the events or outcomes of the story. The best storytellers must stay ahead of the audience, going left instead of right, keeping us off-balance, thinking the wrong person is the villain, and an unexpected ending.

I’ll give an example of a way to deepen the story. Lila is ultimately seduced by Jason, but why? Lila is established as a strong character, albeit escaping her past. What is it about her past that would allow her to succumb so easily to Jason’s charm? What need is being met? What is it about Jason, except for his good looks, that makes him worth risking her career over? The hookup between the two just feels like it serves the plot rather than the characters.

“Her romance with Jason is not as creepy as you’d think and gets super-steamy…”

Another weakness of the film is its inability to create the right amount of sympathy for the Lila. I’ll start this first by saying something happens to Lila near the end that is not her fault. That aside, Lila makes a massive lapse in judgment, and then everything that happens to the pair (except that one event) is of their own doing. As much as we like the Lila character, it’s hard to feel like she’s getting what she deserves (except for that one event). It’s hard not to think, “this could have all been avoided…”

Then again, maybe this is just supposed to be a love story. It’s not all bad. Alana de Freitas created a robust and charismatic character in Lila. She’s likable, and you really want the best for her. Her romance with Jason is not as creepy as you’d think and gets super-steamy, like a Harlequin novel or a Fifty Shades affair. As much as she must face the consequences of a wrong decision, we ultimately do root for her and want the best.

As far as being cinematic, the production values of Before the Dawn is exceptional. Aside from the two leads, the acting from supporting character is so-so and feels scripted. I could see Before the Dawn find a home on Lifetime. Clearly, the critical performances are between de Freitas and Scott, and the pair carries the film admirably.

Before the Dawn (2019)

Directed: Jay Holben

Written: Alana de Freitas

Starring: Alana de Freitas, Jared Scott, etc.

Movie score: 4.5/10

Before the Dawn Image

"…it all starts professional, gets a little flirty..."

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

  1. Precious says:

    Very interesting
    But the second part is very important to know if they (Jason and lila)ended up together

  2. Aces says:

    The predictability is what makes the movie soothing and calming. Kind of like binge watching a tv show that you grew up with. I too, liked the backstory of the main characters, and I do agree that the secondary characters were lacking.

    The movie indirectly answers your question re why she was seduced by Jason. She grew up in a dysfunctional household and as a result has abandonment issues – her mother gives us a glimpse of their family dynamic. She married a physically abusive man and while she was able to get away from him, she recreated the same situation with Jason and Andrew. I’m by no means victim blaming. We unconsciously replay our family roles over and over and over unless we deal with our trauma – which she has not.

    She chose Jason because he has some adult qualities about him that calms her (ie: his push for her to live in the present and not overthink), but he’s also inexperienced in life and so she has the upper hand. That imbalance of power is what makes her feel safe. Not to mention she trauma bonded with him when he came to her all bloody – she experienced this herself. So she doesn’t see him as a persecutor, even though his occupation is to be the aggressor.

  3. Idara James says:

    Please can I get the poem that Jason wrote?

  4. Minoli says:

    Does anyone know the song at the end of the movie?

  5. Theresa Ferrell says:

    This movie was very emotional the love they shared i cried at the end. They need a part 2 where Jason & Lila gets back together.

    • Lea says:

      Omg this movie was so good ..I hope he didn’t throw his life away and they get back together..he loves her so much ..is there a sequel? I hate movies that leaves you wanting more ..I kept thinking he would get on the train,sit next to her and say I’m never letting you run from me ..

  6. Tunacious niloticus says:

    This movie is awesome, I really love it. Is there a crime with been with someone’s teacher? I think there should be a second part for this movie. Jason and Lila kendy love each other and should be given a chance to love.

  7. Grace Carol Yap says:

    I really need a part 2

  8. Victoria Mayorga says:

    I really need a part 2!!! We need to know if she ever goes back or if he ever goes and finds her!! Or something!! Give us something!!

  9. Em Heich says:

    I would really love to see part 2 of this.. I just love this movie..

  10. Muhammad Dangiwa says:

    This movie is very fascinating and also with lots of questions at the ending which makes every person feel comfortable if they will be part two of it so as to see what will happen to Jason and Miss Kendy alongside with the thugs he is trying to escape from and how both will make it right with their parents. So wonderful.

  11. Stella says:

    This movie actually opened a part of me
    Please I need the poem in a written form and the movie should not just end there

  12. Praise says:

    There should be a part 2…….I so love it. It really doesn’t have to end there, we deserve to know the outcome of the Robbery
    I also think the two main characters should end up together

  13. Fortune Japhet says:

    I need the poem please

  14. Amelia Castaño says:

    There should be a part 2. I want to know did he meet the thugs for the robbery? Did he get shot? Or did he decide to stay and not risk it? There needs to be a part 2.

  15. Isaac says:

    WAW I really loved that movie

  16. Turner says:

    What is the last song in the movie credits

  17. colleen says:

    Wow I just finished this movie and it was so good. I would love to see Jason and Lila come back to gether maybe 5 years down the road. Would love to see a Before The Dawn 2. Does anyone know if there will be a sequel?

  18. Allen says:

    I really want them to come back together( Lila and Jason) maybe after Jason finishes his college
    Am hoping for a part 2

  19. kevin says:

    I wwould love to watch part 2

  20. Ela says:

    Hope to see part 2 of this 😥 please

  21. Pomexi says:

    this is one of the movies I would definitely love to see a part 2..I really love the story and everything about the movie,kudos to the production team and part 2 in view

  22. Supermom4 says:

    I loved this romance movie. It’s the real deal. It’s a must to have a sequel part 2 of this. I need to know their future!

  23. Annette says:

    I enjoy the movie and I was wonder if these a part 2 to Before the Dawn.

  24. Anna says:

    okay but I have so many questions they have to make a part.2

  25. Isaac udoita says:

    I love d movie.. I totally agree with Makin g a part 2 of her returning or him going on after school to look for her..
    Wldnt mind if I feature in d next part for free… Isaac form Nigeria.

  26. Ace says:

    I loved the movie – make a 2nd one to follow up their future!

  27. Commanetha says:

    Love the movie it should be a part 2 of the movie with her coming back to him after graduation or he goes to find her

Join our Film Threat Newsletter

Newsletter Icon