Movie Monday: Watch All The Bright Places

Carol Li '21, Co-Sports Editor

On Saturday evening, I watched a movie called All the Bright Places. This is a story between Violet Markey and Theodore Finch: they attend the same high school in Indiana, and are brought together by a school history project. The project is about finding the best place in Indiana. As they do the project, they get to know each other as they both struggle with the emotional and physical pains of their past.

Violet’s sister died in a car accident, and Violet thinks that it is her fault because she suggested her sister take another route home. However, after Finch’s talks and help she begins to heal herself. Finch is a boy who has an undiagnosed bipolar disorder, which means his behavior sometimes is impulsive, excitable and depressed. On the day when they were going out to do their history project, they didn’t go back home that night. This makes Violet’s parents really mad, and they prohibit Finch from seeing Violet again. That makes Finch’s life worse; he ends up expelled from school and hiding from everyone. Finally, unable to conquer himself, he drowns himself at the Blue Hole, one of their wandering sites. During all of that, Violet was trying to find Finch. When she figured out he may have gone to the Blue Hole, she was too late. After all of that, Violet goes to the last place that Finch planned for their history project. And there is a song Finch wrote for Violet which helps her to heal and also convinces Violet that Finch’s suicide was not her fault.

For me, this film has expressed our teenager’s fragile inner self. There are painful and sad moments. Grief, depression, and mental disorders are core elements of the story. In this film, Violet is hurting from a devastating loss which is her beloved sister’s death. I think everyone will experience the loss of their beloved. And it really depends on the person’s mental strength if they can go through it or be caught into it. From Finch, he is struggling with both internal and external upheaval. And that was affected by his original family. He was abused by his father, which is one of the reasons that he has mental issues. He also was bullied in the school, many of his classmates called him “freak.” I think that is another factor causing Finch’s internal pain. He is not understood by others until he meets, falls in love, and attempts to help to heal Violet. And I think this movie is kind of teachable to teenagers because if we have not experienced what Violet and Finch encountered, we don’t know how to handle them when they come to us. For example, when you lose your beloved, or when you are bullied by others, you will have mental preparation, and you could allow them to conquer you because you are mature and strong enough to encounter them.

I strongly recommend this movie to everyone! However, for middle schoolers, please ask your parents permission about that. Also, this movie is adapted from the same novel, if you want to read a book, please do so.