It recently debuted in the catalog of Netflix, the four-episode series All the Light We Cannot See. The plot based on the book of the same name by the author Anthony Doerr, tells the story of Marie-Laure, who lives in Paris, near the Natural History Museum, where her father is the locksmith responsible for taking care of thousands of locks. When the girl becomes blind at the age of six, her father builds a miniature model of the neighborhood where they live so that she can memorize the paths. During the Nazi occupation of Paris, father and daughter flee to the city of Saint-Malo and take with them what is perhaps the museum's most valuable treasure.
In a mining region in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by the radio they find in a pile of trash one day. With practice, he ends up becoming an expert on the device, a talent that earns him a place at a Nazi school and, soon after, a special mission: discovering the source of the radio transmissions responsible for the Allied arrival in Normandy. Increasingly aware of the human costs of his work, the boy is sent to Saint-Malo, where his path crosses that of Marie-Laure, as they both try to survive the Second World War.
Productions that are based on real events have two objectives: to elucidate facts from the past, recounting events that changed society from a different aesthetic and the ability to move those watching through a television or cinema screen. The adaptation in question is powerful in what it proposes to tell. In a succinct and short way, it goes straight to the point.
In All the Light We Cannot See, we are presented with a plot that provides us with reflective and sentimental moments. It's a romance of dangerous proportions and doomed to end before it even begins in a reality too harsh to face. In a place where death is present, clinging to life is an act of resistance, of courage. The main group is small, but has faces known to the public, such as Mark Ruffalo and Hugh Laurie, the plot also features the young and talented Louis Hoffman and in his first role, Aria Mia Lobert, who did a good job on screen.
They are dense characters with a very strong emotional charge. Even though there are only four episodes, the production manages to intersperse present and past and give a background to each character so that the plot makes sense. The management was right to focus on the most important details in order not to waste time on frills.
Because a short model was adopted, the miniseries lost in text, as we see a lot of emphasis on catchphrases to try to reinforce the message that the original work wants to convey and there are very few scenes in which we see a better depth of this prose. We can see that in moments where Marie and Werner reflect on their fears and insecurities, on the uncertainties of life or how they see the world in which they live. There was a little lack of polish in this regard.
The cast is competent. Everyone is great in their roles and although Aria has the standout role, it is Louis who steals the spotlight with his penetrating gaze. He talks to the viewer through his eyes, it is true and distressing. There is another character who talks with his eyes, he is sarcastic, perhaps it is his interpreter's style, using mockery as a strategy to capture the public's attention. Lars Eidinger delivered a villain who doesn't cause fear because of his actions but rather because of his wicked look and his weak appearance... he just lacked the mustache to be the personification of Adolf Hitler. The rest fulfill their positions without any major difficulties.
Visually, the plot does not fail at all. Costumes and makeup are impeccable. Photography that transitions from melancholic cold to chaotic hot to gray smoke and mass destruction. Soundtrack, betting on a classic, there's no mistake. I missed something hotter in the action scenes that could have been more majestic, but ok. It's not something that gets in the way, but it makes a small difference. Suspense, when used well, boosts the work.
In terms of plot, script, it's ok. As expected, even because the decision to work with a miniseries meant that the direction made much less mistakes if they had opted for a film that could tell the story in a wrong and compressed way or a series with seven or more chapters, the which could be very long and include unnecessary frills.
Furthermore, the adaptation fulfills its role well: it hits those who watch it and even more so those who have to live with the scratches left by what happened in the past. Shawn Levy and Steven Knight they did a good job. The ending may not please those who read the original work, but I believe that to maintain the spirit of the book, the hope, it would be much sadder if the ending were the same as the original work. When France and Germany reach the height of their war with the US invasion, we hope it will be different, but we know that in real life... it was much more tragic. Here, the ends do not justify the means.