“Midnight Sun” Shines on the Screen

Nicole Ogle, Staff Writer

The film “Midnight Sun” is a story of a girl with a disease and her summer love, directed by Scott Speer, featuring Bella Thorne as Katie and Patrick Schwarzenegger as Charlie. Katy, who was sheltered her whole life, begins to go out into the world more despite her condition and meets Charlie. This film has unexpected twists and is attention grabbing.

Katie has xeroderma pigmentosum, a disease that prevents her from going in the sun or she will be severely sunburned. Xeroderma pigmentosum can cause weeks of blistering and very high chances of cancer and even death, according to an article on Genetics Home Reference. So because of this disease, she experiences the world in the dark, at night.

Katie only goes outside at night to play her guitar, ultimately opening her world. As the story progresses, a boy named Charlie who she noticed from her window asks her out. From there she embarks on a summer of nightly adventures and finds true love under her deadly disease.

In a critical scene, Katie is exposed to a few seconds of sunlight while trying to rush home from Charlie’s car and into her house. She had to see her doctor because of how badly hurt, only to find out she has only a matter of time until death. She chooses to spend her final moments sailing with Charlie in the sun, as he had once mentioned he wished they could do.

There are not many films that provide a focus on experiencing disabilities from a teen’s perspective in an adventurous way. “Midnight Sun” is a unique young adult romance and drama that could be a great for kids like Katie’s character to see.

This tragedy takes an unexpected turn in the movie that adds drama. It is not completely realistic or correspondent to the disease’s reality, but the emotions, characters, and experiences while having a disability are very real. This gives disabled teenagers, their friends, and family something to relate to.

An example of incorrect portrayal of the disease is the connotation that those with this disease are extremely affected by a few seconds of sun, according to a Genetics Home Reference article, and Katie would have a lot of blistering which was not shown in the film. But even with the mix-up of details, her struggle to have a normal teenage life and the hopelessness of her and Charlie’s relationship is tear-jerking.

Some students at Vista del Lago High School have seen this film and enjoyed it. “I really liked this movie. I’ve known people with medical conditions that keep them from experiencing life fully and it’s sad, so it is nice to see someone overcome their disease, in a way, and experience new things for a while,” said Elise Layton, a junior.

This film might inspire individuals with disabilities to step out into the world with a new outlook and try new things because of Katie’s confidence in her summer adventures. Seeing how she expanded her world is an amazing way to be encouraged to do the same.

Students at Vista can also take away an important message from “Midnight Sun” that nothing is impossible if people step out of their comfort zones and try. The film also shows that there is always hope, and your dreams aren’t as out of reach as they seem.

Bonchi Wright, a junior, liked seeing the movie as well.  “I love how she got to live more than she had and find a way to find love and excitement with her condition,” said Wright.

Along with Wright, junior Andrea Davidson agrees. “Such a good movie. I thought the storyline was interesting and unexpected. It shows that sometimes taking risks can lead to something beautiful, like how going out and playing guitar led her to a summer with Charlie,” said Davidson.

Layton, enjoyed it also. “It was spontaneous, exciting, and really cool how she got to experience life differently that summer and was lucky enough to meet Charlie,” said Layton. This movie seems to be entertaining and exciting as it involves watchers and gets their attention.

Although the disease is not portrayed accurately, “Midnight Sun” is a dramatic and entertaining, star-crossed romance that is well done, thanks to the actors that portrayed the characters with their convincing acting skills.