‘All the Bright Places’ proves a tearjerker

Film encapsulates mental health struggles faced by teens


Fair use from Netflix. Violet Markey (Elle Fanning) and Theodore Finch (Justice Smith) embrace each other. “All the Bright Places” follows Violet and Finch in their journey to overcome past struggles and face new challenges while learning to love one another.

Ruthie Posada

“All the Bright Places” caused me to both laugh and cry. The movie explores different areas of adolescence including love, drama and mental health issues, while also delving into the deeper subject of suicide.

The movie starts off on a dark note, with Violet Markey (Elle Fanning), a girl struggling with the death of her sister, attempting to take her life by jumping off a bridge. Without hesitation, Theodore Finch (Justice Smith), an unpredictable, strong-minded classmate of hers, stops her from following through with the act.

Although starting off on such a serious note made me worry I was in for a depressing ride, both Violet and Finch proved to be enthusiastic and determined characters who beautifully demonstrated the importance of cherishing the world. As the movie progresses, they become friends and share their complicated pasts with one another, and sure enough, eventually fall for each other. Their relationship, however, can all be credited to Finch, who attempts to bring Violet out of the dark to appreciate all the beautiful places in the world, or more specifically, Indiana.

“All the Bright Places” truly captured the struggles faced by high school teens between family, school and relationships, which couldn’t have been done without the incredible acting of both main characters. The emotions felt in the movie were real and relatable and I found myself making connections to much of what occurred within their daily lives both at school and in the real world.

However, despite the magnificent acting and relatable topics, I found myself wondering more about Finch. The movie primarily focused on Violet and her struggle to escape the isolation she put herself in following her sister’s death, but the plot lacked much information regarding Finch’s past. Although some information was given sporadically, Finch’s story lacked important detail, and I found myself wondering the true reason for his struggles and what contributed to the tragic ending of the movie. 

“All the Bright Places” will leave you both in tears and in search of more explanation. Through seeing Violet’s personality evolve to Finch’s ongoing surprises throughout the movie, it’s sure to leave you wishing their story went on forever.

“All the Bright Places”: ★★★★☆