All the Bright Places tells us an unexpected relationship between Violet Markey (Elle Fanning), a popular girl at school who became a loner after her brother died in an accident, and Theodore Finch (Justice Smith), a boy who was considered a freak by the school and he disappear often. Does this sound cheesy as hell? Well, read further down and decide for yourself, or you can simply watch the movie on 123 movies.
For romance films whose premise sounds cheesy, the opening scene of All the Bright Places will make viewers who haven’t read the novel somewhat surprised. Theodore, who was jogging one morning, accidentally met Violet who was standing at the end of the bridge. Theodore’s curiosity finally led to Violet’s failure to jump. Since then, like fate, they spent a lot of time together working on their final assignments in English: writing essays about places in Indiana that impressed them.
Even though the opening scene is pretty heavy, the majority of films will be spent on Violet and Finch’s journey exploring Indiana, getting to know each other, and eventually falling in love. Nothing extraordinary or unexpected from the side of the story, but Elle Fanning and Justice Smith’s performance in playing as the traumatized characters realistically and full of totality really steals the attention.
Unfortunately, the same thing can’t be said for the supporting cast. Finch’s only friend, Charlie (Lamar Johnson) and Amanda (Virginia Gardner) are not interesting and they are really forgettable, and even Embry, played by the quirky actor Keegan-Michael Key, seems just plain.
The difficulty that is often experienced by films that make a novel as its source material is how to make a story in the novel fitting with a limited duration. Although All the Bright Places has involved Jennifer Niven directly in writing the script, many things that became the main attraction of the novel were not translated into the film.
The uniqueness of the novel version whose perspective changes from Finch to Violet in each chapter becomes one of the missing elements in the film version, which consequently makes a lot of contexts lost – both in terms of story and character. Not to mention the story that is cut out completely, which makes the climax and resolution of the film seem rushed because it uses ‘cheap’ techniques to make the audience shed tears.
However, not all the differences between the novel and the film mean bad things. The chemistry between Elle Fanning and Justice Smith in acting really matches the shadows of those who read the novel. It’s because this is the loss that suddenly appears near the end of the film so it inflicts much more pain, because just like in the real world, sometimes we lose the people we love at the most unexpected times. However, we can also stumble upon a new love unexpectedly, and that new love can cure our loss.