Neflix Move Review: All The Bright Places

March 21, 2020

I'll be honest -- I just jumped the bandwagon on this one. When it got released on the streaming platform, it went trending on Twitter. Since then, I have been repeatedly seeing this title on the Netflix app. My first impression with this movie is that it's a cheesy chick flick. Well, after seeing it, I'm not sure, really.

As usual, a note of caution: spoilers alert below!

On first look on the movie poster, I thought the guy was the same actor who played Scot in Locke & Key (I like him in that series 😊). Well just a few seconds seeing him in this movie, I knew that it was not him (how come his headphones are not slipping down while jogging?)... but he was strangely familiar. Later on I realized he was the same guy in that Detective Pikachu movie. 😅 Finch, the guy's name here, have some childhood trauma he's dealing with. I like his room. I always daydreamed of owning a turntable, and it was a joy to see him get lost in the music of his vinyl.

And then, there's the girl named Violet (played by Elle Fanning, Dakota's younger sister!). She just recently lost her sister. She has a blog co-authored with her. There came a time when I also thought of putting up a blog with my sister, but obviously it didn't push through (mentions of sisterhood, may it be in books or in movies, used to open a can of worms of feelings for me. It had been like that for years, but slowly I am arriving to my own healing... I have a lot to say about this, so I'm saving that on another post 😊). I thought it was so nice of Finch to reach out like that, even publishing a shout out of a song for her on Instagram! 😍 I like how their relationship bloomed because of a lot of things. They were both hurting, but they were brave to reach out and be open (and vulnerable) to each other. I love the scenes of them biking together. I learned how to bike on my own (yep, with no one holding the back for me) and biking has always been a solitary activity for me (especially during overseas trips). So seeing these two young people budding in love while biking just made me cry, like my heart was saying "I want something like this too." 

Where would you go if you could go anywhere?

This is one of the questions posed in the movie. It's such a good question. Until now, I am still thinking of my answer. As for them, Finch took Violet to these parts of Indiana with a one-person roller-coaster and that forest (that's so beautiful ✨💖🌳) with the "shoes tree". I also want to go on a road trip to places like those shown in the film, and just sing out loud inside the car. 

Finch also took her to this place with a wall that has scribbles of the same sentence throughout:

Before I die, I want to __________

I instantly recognized it as the one from a touching TED Talk I saw years ago, embedded here below.

"We don't remember days, we remember moments."

Finch brought Violet to a  magnificent lake in the middle of a forest. Finch dove onto the lake, and as hesitant as she was, Violet joined him for a swim. I couldn't imagine diving into it during autumn, I might not be able to move my body. 😖 "What are you most afraid of?" Finch asked this question to Violet, and as we see the next events in the film, this question and this location form an important role in their story.

The film is dedicated to those who have been impacted by mental health issues, suicide, or grief.

As I read that sentence at the end of the film, I just contemplated on how insidious mental health issues are. Those imbalanced body chemicals cause people to do things. I'm no stranger to that path, and I know how dark that road can feel. I'm not there anymore. One major takeaway that I brought with me from that journey is to never listen to the dark thoughts of your brain. It's playing its tricks against you. In my case, talking about it with someone really helped. I know, we hear this all the time -- "reach out", "you are not alone", but experiencing the benefits of that action, of opening your rawest unfiltered feelings to another human being, is a powerful and life-changing experience. After doing that myself, I felt like some kind of burden was lifted off from me.

To anyone who's reading this and are currently walking along that dark road, I'm passing this message to you: you are not alone.  There are people out there that can and will help you.


NCMH Crisis Hotline: 0917 899 USAP (8727) or 7 989 USAP (8727) or
Crisis Line by In-touch: (02) 8 893 7603, 0917 800 1123, or 0922 893 8944


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