Updated: Apr 9, 2020
Yes, I admit it, I'm a real chump for being enticed into Netflix's fiery abrupt pop up trailers. Surprisingly, alongside Elle Fanning's stunning natural beauty, it was the soothing piano that intrigued me into watching this film. I hesitated at the long connected stares between both protagonists, understanding that I was about to delve into a teenage affair. But unbeknown to me and my bloodstream of gin & tonics, I was unaware of how emotionally engaging a high school love pursuit could be.
I can't comment on previous releases from Brett Haley, but he lets off a real charm from his storytelling techniques directing All the Bright Places. As an audience member I was compelled to see his theme of joy through the eyes of the camera. He takes such a depressing issue that effects millions of people, and and brings a view of rebellious amusement lived through these cheeky characters. It reminded me of films like 'A Walk to Remember' and how humans have this passion for affection which can tarnish the underlying fears they are undergoing or attempting to face. The locations were stunning, and created a warm isolated world for these characters to explore. Set in Indiana, but filmed in Ohio, the glistening lakes, over powering oak tree's and iconic farms were visually beauteous. Elle Fanning has such a dark mystery to her acting, similar to Kristen Stewart, that when she abandons her courage, and surrenders to her grief, it tugs deeply at your heart strings. Justice Smith played his role honourably, and I was so moved by his characters distraction to love Violet from his own depression, explored through the moving sentences in the script.
“You are all the colors in one, at full brightness.” Therodore Finch.
I was abruptly blindsided when Violet found Theodore's belongings by the lake, taking moments for me to process his death. Despite feeling anguished, the audience then understood Justice's drive to make Elle see the beauty in life. My pit, furthermore, is that the director could have exposed the death towards the middle of the movie, unearthing a non linear narrative, where we look back at their moving memories together. In this way, we would view Elle regaining her strength, giving us a connection to her emotions, rather than witness such an abrupt despondent ending.
Suicide is a bold theme to explore in any media form, but it recites such a paramount message, given the realities of distressing cases in young people across our worrying world today. The film genuinely brightened my eyes by reflecting on how young teenagers live to break the rules through scenes of staying up late and exploring the world's hidden landscapes. Yes, I blubbered like Samwise Gamgee from Lord of the Rings, but I also came away longing for my years of fearlessness. A clever task for a directer to achieve, and I'm certain the film will help any viewer see their own colour in darker days.