All The Bright Places teaches a valuable lesson

All The Bright Places is a romantic drama film based off of the book by the same name. It was released on February 28, 2020, by Netflix. It tells the story of Violet Mackey (Elle Fanning) and Theodore Finch (Justice Smith). The two characters are students in high school who meet and change each other’s lives forever. The book, published on January 6, 2015, was written by Jennifer Niven. 

Violet Macky, played by Elle Fanning, has a sister named Eleanor that died nine months ago. However, this still greatly affects her. Amanda, played by Virginia Gardner, is one of Violet’s friends. The other main character is Theodore Finch, and he is played by Justice Smith. He has the reputation of being a freak because he’s gotten into fights and thrown a desk at a teacher’s chalkboard.  He has a sister named Kate (Alexandra Shipp) and they are very close. He has two friends named Charlie and Brenda, played by Lamar Johnson and Sofia Hasmick. Another character is Embryo, played by Keegan-Michael Key. He is Finch’s school counselor. 

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This film depicts suicide, and topics about mental illness. Finch struggles with this a lot, as he ends up taking his own life by jumping into a lake. In my opinion, the movie handles the topic carefully. It focuses on how the other people around someone would feel if they were gone. Violet was deeply affected by Finch’s death, and it really makes one think about the consequences of suicide. Mental illness is hard to depict in films and TV. It’s a difficult topic, but it also needs to be put in the media like this. People need to be aware of suicide, what it means and how to deal with it. They’ll know that they can talk to people about what’s going on. Maybe the film will convince them to seek out help. 

This movie did a great job at keeping my attention. From the start, I was intrigued because of the music that was playing. I liked the way the two main characters first appeared. This, specifically, caught my attention. They first appeared when Finch found Violet standing on the ledge of a bridge. He offers Violet her hand and helps her down.

Finch begins to research Violet on the internet. He is intrigued by her. This is where their relationship begins to build. Their geography teacher assigns a group project where they must report on two or more wonders of Indiana. Finch picks Violet as his partner.  They slowly start to build a relationship and work together, since the teacher won’t let Violet out of the project. Violet is hesitant to grow close to someone and make a friend again, and Finch is desperate to open her back up. 

They ride bikes to the highest point in Indiana, Hoosier Hill, since Violet doesn’t want to ride in a car. Finch agrees to this. I really liked the scene from this part. It had a lot of funny elements and beautiful scenery. Afterwards, the two teens message each other back and forth. This shows that Violet is ready to try to get out there again. 

The two of them write on an Before I Die wall. This wall is for people to reflect on their dreams and their lives. It’s a beautiful thing, and one of my top favorite scenes of the film. Both of them looked happy, and I could see the chemistry between them. Eventually, Finch goes to the next level and shows up with a car. He convinces Violet to come with him but she isn’t comfortable with being in a car again. In my opinion, he was crossing the line into her boundaries. He was pushing her a bit too far. However, I do think this was a push that she needed so she could begin to move on. 

I love the cinematography in these next few scenes. The scenery is beautiful, combined with the music that was chosen. They start to spend more time together, even though they’ve already seen the required amount of wonders for their project. They share a kiss. This is when they start to see more wonders, and begin dating. I loved being able to see how Finch was making a difference in Violet’s life.  Though Violet is getting better, Finch starts to get worse. He becomes distant and doesn’t answer texts or calls. This did worry me, as I knew his character was troubled. It’s revealed to the audience by Charlie that Finch does this often, and he always turns up again. They visit the Blue Hole, after Finch turns back up. The two of them share personal information. This scene felt very heartfelt. Two people trusted each other enough to talk about their feelings, and their pasts. I really think it’s one of the best things in this movie. Violet and Finch stay out all night, and get in trouble with her parents. 

One of the scenes that got to me a lot was when Finch visited Kate at work. She  gets concerned about her brother and asks if he is okay, which he clearly isn’t. It hurt me to see him hiding how he truly felt from her. It made me think about how I’ve done that too.  It was at this point that I noticed the film was getting darker and more serious. The earlier parts are light and happy, but the last thirty minutes take a darker tone. Finch and Violet have a bad argument, where Finch yells at her to go. This scene is sad, honestly. I feel like it’s common when people are hurting to push the people they love away. It’s sad that it happens, but unfortunately, it does. 

Soon enough, Violet starts to search for her friend. She gets a suggestion from her father to search for him at one of the wonders that they’d seen, so Violet goes to the lake. This was the hardest scene for me to watch in the film. The audience discovers with Violet that Finch has taken his life by drowning himself in the lake. Elle Fanning’s acting was phenomenal. She portrayed the shock, and the terrible grief that someone feels when they lose someone like that. It made me cry really hard. 

Violet finds a rock in his pocket that reads “your turn.” In my opinion, this was Finch’s way of telling her to move on. He was trying to tell her it was her turn to get back into the world on her own, as he’d mentioned this earlier in the movie.  Violet grows a lot in this film. The audience gets to see her move on from what happened to Eleanor. I really enjoyed seeing her gradually be happy again. It inspired me. I really liked the last scene where Violet gave the presentation for the project. Only, it was without Finch. My heart felt heavy to see how he wasn’t standing next to her, as he should’ve been. The speech that she gave really had me think about life, and what would happen if I wasn’t here one day. 

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Overall, I really enjoyed this film. It made me cry and laugh throughout it all. All The Bright Places has a message to it. A great message. It says that there’s bright places, even in dark times. If there isn’t, then you can be that bright place for someone else. This movie inspired me a lot. I think it’s good that the creators put it out there. It brings awareness to people, and also great tribute to the novel it was based on.  In my opinion, the film adaptation did the book justice.