All the Bright Places: Movie Review

Mental health issues are no joke. It has taken and will take more lives. It's often easily misunderstood, totally missed, or dismissed. "All the Bright Places" is a poignant and emotional experience on that very same topic. With powerful performances from its leads, it's a film not to be missed.
While out on a run, Theodore Finch (Justice Smith) stumbles upon Violet Marley (Elle Fanning) who is standing on top of a bridge seemingly ready to jump and take her life. Finch talks to Violet and prevents her from doing the unthinkable. Soon, both develop a unique friendship when they are tasked to wander Indiana as part of their final school project.
If we could have one criticism on "All the Bright Places", it would be that it focuses heavily on the character of Violet Marley. The character of Theodore Finch took a heavy back seat in the film adaptation. While both characters struggle through mental health issues at the same time, Finch's back story was mostly told through small conversations. Unfortunately, we never really get an opportunity to do a deep dive on his character even though he suffers through mental health issues more than Violet. The film could have used an extra half hour or so to really flesh out its story and character development. But besides that setback, "All the Bright Places" still turned out to be a powerful and emotional experience. And to be frank, it might even be too heavy for some. It was not afraid to tackle the messiness and reality of mental health issues head-on and it definitely did not pull any punches. Of course, much of this was not possible without the note-worthy performances from Elle Fanning and Justice Smith. Each one had great chemistry as friends and lovers while individually, they came out frighteningly authentic in their depictions of their issues. "All the Bright Places" may be a film that's quite dark but it still leaves audiences with a lot of hope. It's a story of struggle and also redemption through proper help and ultimately, love.
Rating: 4 and a half reels

Why you should watch it:
- pulls no punches on the topic of mental health
- powerful and emotional narrative and acting

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- the character of Finch didn't have enough back story
-needed to be longer to flesh things out
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