All the Light We Cannot See [6/10]

Much anticipated because of Anthony Doerr’s brilliant novel, All the Light We Cannot See, a four-part streamer series, commences with one of its many sweeping wartime set pieces, as Allied forces bomb a Nazi-occupied French village and we see a teenage girl broadcasting from an attic room. The girl fled Paris earlier with her father, a museum curator who rescued and hid a precious jewel, and now the father is gone. Enter a young German radio operator (played with intensity by Louis Hofmann), brilliant at his craft and repulsed by his Nazi overlords. Enter a reptilian Nazi jewel hunter (Lars Eidinger is the only actor to imbue the many Nazi villains with any malevolent heft and he does it with style). The three inexorably wend their way to confrontations, amidst numerous flashbacks filling out the tale. The underlying book embraced huge themes of inhumanity, hope, and redemption through culture, and it did so with grave grace. The film’s arc captures the book’s tale faithfully, and it brings war’s kaleidoscopic horrors to stunning life, but the script is pedestrian and many actors are miscast. The music, by stalwart James Newton Howard, is old school strings and is execrable. Overall, All the Light We Cannot See is passable lush entertainment but utterly fails to do the book justice.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *