We are consuming information 24 hours a day due to the new COVID19. And much has been said about the importance of staying in our homes, protecting ourselves, protecting others. However, many warnings have arisen and if on the one hand social isolation saves our “physical” lives, how are our “mental” lives? Since, many people feel anguish, sadness, suffering, anxiety ... They feel restless and disbelieving a possibility of improvement. As much as the reasons are different, art imitates life, and All the Bright Places it addresses human relationships, feelings, the happiness of having someone and the suffering of losing someone.
The synopsis of All the Bright Places says “Two teenagers who face personal struggles form a powerful bond when they embark on a cathartic journey that chronicles the wonders of Indiana” and yes, it does. But, the new feature recently released by Netflix it goes beyond entertainment, it provides, even if in a subtle way, service to its viewers. We need to talk about mental disorders, depression and suicide.
* Warning of triggers: As it is an adaptation that addresses delicate topics, be careful when watching, reading the book and even criticism, since these triggers can be triggered.
Based on bestseller written by Jennifer Niven, the plot presents the story of Violet Marker and Theodore Finch, who find themselves in an unusual situation and end up transforming each other. In the time when they are trying to overcome their internal struggles, Violet and Finch approach and discover that the simplest moments can be more meaningful and unforgettable. Right at the beginning, the young Violet, who lost her sister and is in an “inert” state, is presented, where everything that happens in her life is indifferent, it is as if she just observed her existence and she reaches a level that she doesn't want that anymore. She is on the parapet, on the bridge ... Deeply bitter.
At that moment, the boy with a wide smile and a tired look is introduced ... Theodore, someone we think has the perfect life ... He is cheerful, adventurous, empathetic, funny. However, what a person does not always show is not what they actually feel. His joy hides the shard in his mind and he, only he knows it, this inconsistency ... the scar he carries on his body is so small in comparison to the internal monsters that frighten him. But, even if broken internally, he tries to help Violet not to give up. Preventing a person from jumping off the bridge, staying with him until he feels minimally good, means much more than a simple act of compassion.
Human relationships, whether friendships, professional or loving, demand responsibility and commitment. Caring for others goes beyond asking if you are okay or if you need something. It is necessary to understand that mental disorders are serious and that yes ... they can kill. It is useless to say that everything will be fine and to watch the others languish from the box. We need to support and really be on the side of those in need. In the course of the plot, they are given a double task where they will have to know the wonders of Indiana and with a lot of resistance, Violet ends up doing with Finch and they start to get closer, to get into each other's intimacy and to relate. He is impressed all the time and tries to get Violet out of the bubble she is in. And it works, they spend a lot of time together, do things together, have fun ... in short, it's a new beginning, a gradual cure of Violet's fragile state. However, Finch is sinking into something that is more complex than the state of the beloved. Although she thinks that something is wrong, that something is out of place, she takes time to understand what is happening to him and unfortunately it happens in real life and it is this delay that causes catastrophes that should not happen.
“Sometimes, I am left in a void. I get into a dark mood and think too fast to notice anything, and then it's like all my thoughts are gone at once ”- Finch
It is not just Finch and Violet who fight daily with their internal monsters. Amanda, Violet's best friend, has a perfect life, but she tried to kill herself more than once ... The life posted on social media is not the reality. The traumas of the past, the school life, the relationship with family and friends is something that is very important when addressing these topics. If, on the one hand, we have two characters, with loving families, with practically everything going well, and on the other, we have a boy who has only the older sister, because the mother is never present and the father left them to follow other paths, or that is, a troubled life, this proves how important it is to understand that mental disorders, suicide, depression can affect anyone… regardless of whether you are rich or not, woman or man, black or white, we are the ones who face our internal struggles masked by a smile, because it is difficult to admit in a society so superficial that we are not well, that we cannot smile. Today's world does not forgive those who are depressed ... it's just freshness, isn't it?
It is not just a romance. It seems that the focus is on Violet and overcoming her problems that are important and Finch is a piece of that gear that only serves to tell a beautiful story in the end ... as if Violet had not seen that he was sick, but no. He doesn't want her to know that side of you and when someone approaches and he feels like he's going to have a crisis, he disappears, runs away, isolates himself, doesn't speak to people for days and people are so used to it that they think it's normal and in one scene, Violet is very concerned and doesn't believe that people think that Finch's attitude is common. Complex is the scene where Finch talks to his sister at the bar where she works. There, we realized that all the time, more than saving the beloved Violet from her pains, Theodore wants to save someone else, and if he could save that person from his wrong choices, he could also find the way of peace and all that would pass … Finch's ending is painful, there is no turning back… it is the most painful scene and it reminds us of how important it is to talk about depression, suicide, mental disorders that remain taboo in society.
The production has a wonderful cast, especially the protagonists Elle Fanning and Justice Smith, who look great in their characters. The interaction, the chemistry between them is formidable. So real is the pain and anguish that Elle shows on the screen the irreverence and lively relaxation in Justice, which presents us with a real performance in the variations of humor that her character has. The soundtrack is a delight for the ears. Keegan DeWitt, in charge of placing the viewer within the plot with a melancholic and delicate soundtrack, a mixture of feelings that only violin and piano chords can provide us. The director Brett Haley, manages to inject honesty into his romantic partner and by demonstrating the differences in the ways that people react when they are not in their ideal mental balance. The script is signed by Jennifer Niven, in partnership with Liz Hannah who were able to portray the attitudes of those outside the curve. Jennifer Nivem, author of the book, told that this story is true in a way, she met someone like Finch and loved this boy, with him everything was magical and she felt the ups and downs, the struggle to be in this world. He committed suicide. She also says that she felt the weight of wanting to talk about these delicate subjects and people always close their eyes and that's why she wrote the book All the Bright Places.