Midnight Sun review: Tissues are a necessity for this charming emotional rollercoaster.
Midnight Sun review by Kat Hughes.
Remember when The Notebook was released and it emotionally scarred everyone that watched it? Remember how many tissues you got through during The Fault in our Stars? Well get ready because Midnight Sun is the latest film to rage war on your tear ducts.
Related: The Fault In Our Stars review
Katie (Bella Thorne) is a teenage girl whom has spent her entire life trapped behind closed doors thanks to a very rare, and very deadly, disorder. She suffers from a condition known as Xeroderma Pigmentosum, or XP for short, which means that any exposure to direct sunlight, no matter how small, could potentially kill her. She has spent her formative years trapped at home behind specially designed windows, watching the world pass her by. She has her BFF Morgan (Quinn Shephard) whom comes to visit, and her father Jack (Rob Riggle) whom also works as her teacher, for company, but Katie dreams of life as a singer. Every night she goes to the local train station to busk and it is here that she first meets Charlie (Patrick Schwarzenegger), the boy she has been crushing on from afar since she was a little girl. The pair embark on a relationship, but Katie is reluctant to share her medical history with Charlie, a decision that soon puts her very life at risk.
Full of heart and charm, Midnight Sun catches the viewer completely off guard. It could oh so easily be written off as some teen melodrama, but it somehow wins the viewer over. The story isn’t the most original in the world and yet despite that, it still manages to draw you in and grabs you by the heartstrings, milking them for all they are worth. The final third of the film is a feat of endurance in trying not to cry in a public forum. Inevitably it all gets too much and eventually you’ll be ugly crying in your seat.
The beating heart of the film is its lead Bella Thorne. Thorne is an exceptionally gifted young actor and one that has sadly been overlooked by many. Unfortunately her projects have the knack for becoming stuck in the distribution wasteland (a la Amityville Awakening) meaning that she hasn’t really had her moment. Midnight Sun could finally offer her such a moment as her turn as Katie is completely believable and more importantly, relatable. She’s suitably awkward and doesn’t pander to the usual movie teenage girl stereotypes; she’s an intelligent and happy young woman dealing with a tragic twist of fate with a positive attitude. Although under the control of XP, Katie is never a victim. She always had a strength, and that’s something that everyone can learn from, not just those in similar situations. Thorne also has a killer set of pipes on her and there are plenty of catchy tunes throughout.
Patrick Schwarzenegger also does a great job in what is his first lead role. His character Charlie, swerves some teenage tropes just like Katie, and is thankfully much more than the typical handsome hero – he has his issues too, and needs support just as much as Katie. He does of course go above and beyond to make Katie’s dreams come true giving teenage girls in the audience something to aspire to.
Catchy music, pretty visuals, and an engaging cast make this a perfect emotional teen drama. A fantastic film that tugs on the heartstrings. Midnight Sun might not have the most original of stories, but it has a ton of heart, charm and emotional charge to melt the coldest of hearts. An uplifting but gut-wrenching film that won’t leave a dry eye in the house.
Midnight Sun review, by Kat Hughes, March 2018.
Midnight Sun is released in UK cinemas on Friday 30th March 2018.