Steven Knight omitted the true ending of Mary and Werner’s story.
“At the end of World War II, the lives of a blind French girl and a German soldier intersect. It is August 1944, and in the Nazi-occupied city of Saint-Malo, Marie-Laure Leblanc risks her life broadcasting on the radio during a bombing raid. Werner Pfennig, a young German soldier, hears her.”
This is the starting point of Toda Luz que Não Podemos Ver, the new Netflix series that, since its recent debut on November 2, seems to have completely won over the streaming platform’s subscribers. Critics, however, don’t seem to agree and the verdict is that it doesn’t live up to what was expected.
In fact, it is not surprising that it is among the most watched series on the platform in recent days, as historical fiction had the potential to triumph: it is the new work by the creator of Peaky Blinders, Steven Knight, together with one of the creators of Stranger Things, Shawn Levy, and has a notable cast with actors like Hugh Laurie and Mark Ruffalo.
Furthermore, All the Light We Cannot See had a certain prestige from the beginning, as it is the adaptation of the best-selling book of the same name by Anthony Doerr, a 500-page gem that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2015.
With just four episodes, the series takes just four hours to watch. But in it, viewers follow over the course of a decade the intertwined destinies of its two protagonists, who, through a shared secret bond, regain faith in humanity and see a glimmer of hope.
While faithful to the adaptation of Doerr’s novel of the same name, Steven Knight chose to make some changes so that the entire story would fit into four episodes, rather than the originally planned six. As a result, since there won’t be a second season, the outcome of the two main characters is left somewhat up in the air, while the fates of other characters change significantly.
Beware, spoiler! Details about the ending of All the Light We Cannot See are revealed below.
In the last episode of All the Light We Cannot See, Werner (Louis Hoffman) helps Marie (Aria Mia Loberti) get rid of Von Rumpel (Lars Eidinger) and they share a tender kiss before the German officer surrenders to the American army. And they promise to meet again.
In the book, however, Werner is captured by the army before being taken to prison, where he falls seriously ill and, upon being released, dies after stepping on a landmine. Thus, despite his promise, Werner never sees Marie again, who moved to Paris with Etienne – in the book, he does not die in the bakery explosion – and only finds out what happened later.
Upon arriving in the French capital, Marie and Ettiene begin a long search to find out what happened to their father, Daniel (played by Mark Ruffalo), who in the series is tortured and killed by Von Rumpel. But, in Anthony Doerr’s novel, he is sent to a concentration camp without his daughter knowing when or how he died.
With his changes, Steven Knight seeks an intriguing ending, as part of the story is missing, but which maintains hope for a future in which Marie and Werner would meet again.
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