The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

‘All the Light We Cannot See’ Portrays Engaging Storytelling, Acting

AP Images
Aria Mia Loberti, who plays Marie in the new Netflix adaptation of “All the Light We Cannot See,” at the 2023 Women of the Year Celebration hosted by Glamour.

Dull and repetitive: two words I would normally use to describe modern World War II media.

Compelling and heart-wrenching: two words I would use to describe the new Netflix historical drama “All the Light We Cannot See.”

Based on the 2014 novel by Anthony Doerr, this miniseries follows two main characters: a blind French girl, Marie-Laure LeBlanc, who illegally broadcasts on the radio every night after the invasion of Nazi Germany, and a German boy, Werner Pfenning, who works for the military due to his excellence in radio technology.

Like the book, the series alternates between the parallel points-of-view of Marie, played by Aria Mia Loberti, and Werner, played by Louis Hoffman.

As a strong believer that books are better than their movie adaptations, I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed this show as much as I did if I had read the book. Making this a four-episode series as opposed to a movie or traditional TV show would’ve been a bad idea. As a miniseries, it was the perfect length: there weren’t any major plot-holes, and it didn’t feel dragged out.

The storyline had an element of fiction that was unexpected. The addition of the Sea of Flames, a magical stone, paired with a real event like World War II confused me during the first episode. But going into the last episode, I was able to recognize the purpose and symbolism of the object.

When I looked up the cast’s credits, I was surprised to see that this was Loberti’s first acting role. She delivered the emotion and devastation that comes with the heavy topic of war like someone who’s been acting for years.

It is also important to note that like Marie, Loberti is legally blind. This representation is incredibly important in breaking down stigmas regarding disabilities and the people who have them. Too often do directors cast people without disabilities to portray those with them on screen.

In addition, Hoffman and Lars Eidinger, who plays Sgt. Maj. Reinhold Von Rumpel, are both German actors. This makes the show much more realistic because the audience isn’t straining to believe their acting. Actors can work with dialect coaches all they want, but doing anything other than a British accent will never sound fully believable coming from an American.

Take Mark Ruffalo, who plays Marie’s father, Daniel, for example. His dialect is a mix of what I can only guess to be French and British based off context. Though I enjoyed his performance, his accent sounded subpar at most, especially because the American kept slipping through.

The score in this show was incredible and not surprisingly produced by James Newton Howard, who is famous for his work on “The Dark Knight” and “The Hunger Games” franchise. There are crescendos during the climaxes and cliffhangers, all of which had me fully immersed in the show.

As someone who isn’t the biggest fan of war dramas, this show had me hooked the entire way through. Anyone looking for a quick watch with meaningful messages and representation will not be disappointed by “All the Light We Cannot See.”