Review: ‘All the Bright Places’ shines
Five out of Five Stars
By Maddy Warren
The new Netflix movie “All the Bright Places” has all the friendship, romance and heartbreak of a typical teenage drama and more.
The novel-turned-Netflix original stars Elle Fanning as Violet Markey and Justice Smith as Theodore Finch. The movie explores the unlikely friendship of two high school seniors, the struggles they face with mental illness, and their emotionally scarring pasts.
In the opening scene, Finch finds Violet standing on the edge of a bridge in the town where they live. He is out for his daily run when he spots her peering over the edge.
He slowly approaches Violet and asks her what she’s doing, realizing she is a classmate of his.
Off in her own world, she doesn’t notice him coming up to her and is startled. Violet asks him to leave. He proceeds to climb up on the ledge with her. Finch eventually helps her down and they go their separate ways.
Finch later learns that Violet’s sister, Eleanor, was killed in a car accident on that same bridge exactly one year prior. She struggles with depression and has not been the same since.
The two get to know each other after they partner up for a school project. Their teacher encourages the seniors in the class to “Wander Indiana” before they leave the town for college, etc.
They go on several adventures together to find all the “hidden gems” their state has to offer.
As the plot continues, graduation draws closer, and Finch begins to spiral out of control.
He goes through extreme highs and lows. He doesn’t know why, due to his undiagnosed bipolar depression. Finch disappears for a few days, leaving Violet worried. His friends assure her that it is a common occurrence of his.
Finch eventually confides in Violet, telling her about his abusive father and the bullying he receives at school. Their relationship continues to grow.
The film’s dramatic conclusion is sure to have viewers shedding more than a few tears.