“All the Bright Places” highlights mental illness through poor cinematography

After the book release in early 2015, online web forums were inundated with positive reviews. Naturally, Netflix capitalized on this market and released the movie five short years later.

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After the book release in early 2015, online web forums were inundated with positive reviews. Naturally, Netflix capitalized on this market and released the movie five short years later.

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A nerdy boy likes a popular girl. This overplayed archetype is the plotline of countless films, books and songs, and Jennifer Niven’s “All the Bright Places” is no exception. This New York Times best-selling novel was developed into a movie and released to Netflix on Feb. 28.

A hapless teen with mental illness, Theodore Finch, catches his classmate, Violet Markey, preparing to jump off a bridge. Instead of calming her or coaxing her down, Finch chooses the logical solution: join her on the ledge.

After ignoring their previous encounter, Violet dismisses Finch in public because she doesn’t want to be associated with the weird kid who only has two friends, which surprises no one. But, the pair forms a blossoming relationship after being partnered for their school’s wander project, in which students must find the hidden gems in the state of Indiana. 

The next half of the movie includes an excess of cinematic montages, attempting to squeeze a 388-page book into a two-hour movie. Finch takes Violet to a new location, a montage is shown. Finch takes Violet to a new location, another montage is shown. The montages in this film begin to lose their effect after much repetition.

The star-studded cast of this movie includes Justice Smith and Elle Fanning as Finch and Violet, respectively. Smith does a spectacular job of playing a teen with mental illness. His ability to demonstrate composure while acting out a mental breakdown scene is impressive. Fanning, however, did not impress. Her monotonous tone ruins the impactful scenes, such as her supposedly powerful speech. 

However, the movie as a whole is worth watching. This movie is a breath of fresh air in comparison to the typical corny teen love stories. It blatantly displays that despite your circumstances, you can still be yourself and find love, even if it is through movie clichés.