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Film Review: “Midnight Sun” (2018) ★★★★


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Films like “The Fault in Our Stars”, “The Vow”, “Dear John” and “A Walk to Remember” are not simply capable to make anyone ugly-cry but also leave a long-lasting positive impression on viewers. We not only shed a few tears but feel sentimental throughout the film. Based on the Japanese film “Midnight Sun” directed by Norihiro Koizumi (2006), which tells about a young girl names Kaoru Amane, the American remake of the same-titled film is directed by Scott Speer and tells an old, beloved story about love that does not die even after death… Yet, before the death arrives, there is a life which will make sure to torment the living soul in a way that can never be forgotten.

Set in warm and friendly summer atmosphere, the film follows the 17-year-old Katie Price (portrayed by Bella Thorne), a beautiful, intelligent, funny, and awfully talented young woman. Had she been born in a different life, she’d have succeeded at every level in her endeavors. Her current life has a different reality scripted for her. Katie has to enjoy her life during night time since the daylight is her worst enemy due to her sensitivity toward sunlight. Doctors promise no miracles. All they can do is to follow strict instructions to extend the little life that is left for her to enjoy.

Katie has no problem to follow those instructions. That is until she meets Charlie (Patrick Schwarzenegger) – the boy with whom she has been in love since childhood. For her, he is the sunshine that she is otherwise deprived of during the day. However, nothing lasts forever – especially the moments of happiness. This new light in her life becomes the trigger to accelerate the inevitable day that Katie knew was coming. She surely meets it with ultimate bravery. Katie knows how terrible it is going to be for her. At the same time, she cannot resist the only thing she needs to experience for one last time – the true love. Even if that is the last thing she’ll do in her life…

Katie’s father Jack Price (Rob Riggle) is a parent every child wants to have. He is caring, protective, loving and has enough patience to give his only child everything she needs. He has even homeschooled her. At her graduation night, he gave Katie a beautiful gift – the guitar that belonged to his late wife. Katie loves playing the guitar by the lake. She takes her guitar and goes to the train station to play for the passengers when Charlie passes by and hears her voice. Right at that moment on, there is some pure connection created between that, which will surely change their lives forever. This beautiful link is bound to have a painful outcome the two young people will have to face and try to overcome.

The original story has slightly been changed by the scriptwriter Eric Kirsten. In addition, Scott Speer, who has previously directed “Step Up Revolution” (2012), seems to knows exactly how to reach the hearts of the young viewers.  Accidentally or not, the film manages to have the same impact also on older viewers. Casting Patrick Schwarzenegger as Charlie is a great choice. He delivers unique charm to Charlie’s character, which makes him believable for the viewer. Bella Thorne as Katie – the girl with an XP disease, is adorable. The film has several very emotional scenes, which are touching and powerful, and make sure will remain in people’s hearts.

In conclusion, “Midnight Sun” is another memorable romantic drama that is not spoiled with unnecessary scenes and dialogues. Everything in this film is in a great balance – there is a bit of humor, some nostalgia, and emotional scenes. It slowly takes its pace and never lets it go. Speer’s film has perfect timing and special credit should be given to the editors Michelle Harrison and Tia Nolan which have done an outstanding job. This is a worthwhile piece for anyone who loves films like “A Walk to Remember.” And remember, before you enter the theater, make sure to bring a box of tissues to be fully settled for a sad and unforgettable journey with “Midnight Sun.”

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