Book to movie adaptions are my favorite. I love seeing a story that was so clear in my head play out on screen. When I heard that All The Bright Places would be coming to Netflix, I knew I had to add it to my queue. I remember reading the book way back when it was published in 2015 so a few of the details were spotty at best, but I thought it was a pretty decent effort all in all.
Meet Theodore Finch (Justice Smith) and Violet Markey (Elle Fanning), two high school kids who, on the surface seem to be complete opposites, but as it turns out they have a lot more in common than they ever could have realised.
Finch struggles with mental health and has to see a therapist on the reg to keep his thoughts and feelings in check. When he is in the middle of an episode, he usually disappears from the lives of his friends and family. He also writes these down on post its and displays them in his room so that he can have some sort of control over the situation.
Violet is known as the girl who lost her sister in a freak car accident. This event completely alters her life – suddenly college applications take a backseat as do friends and potential boyfriends. Violet is unable to find joy in anything anymore and she hasn’t stepped foot in a car since.
A chance encounter at the scene of the accident pushes the two together. Finch is curious about Violet and wants to know more about her, but she is closed off and unsure. When they are paired up for an assignment that requires them to discover various world wonders, their guards are slowly let down and their hearts open up to life and love.
The topic of this film is important because it tackles mental health in a realistic way. Both main characters deal with their own issues, but what it comes down to is that one should never judge a book by it’s cover. Just because somebody looks like they are happy on the outside does not mean that that is really how they feel on the inside. Mental health is still something people aren’t able to talk about openly and that should change.
I recently reread the novel and noticed quite a few changes were made. While this is common in page to screen adaptions, I wish more details had been included. Key locations were altered and the way in which Finch’s dark days were depicted could have been more colorful. Still, I enjoyed watching the story unfold and it taught me to not take anything for granted.