You know how they always say that life is short, that you should live before it leaves you? That becomes all too real when you have a rare genetic condition. With Scott Speer on the directorial chair, ‘Midnight Sun’ is a poignant and serene 2018 romantic drama movie that would leave you with a lingering numbness. While there have surely been better apples in the genre, this is not the kind of film that you will watch and forget.
The narrative follows gifted musician Katie Price whose darkened life takes a right turn when her childhood crush Charlie makes a charming appearance in her life. Katie suffers from a rare anomaly that does not allow her to go out in the sun. But her nights keep getting brighter as she runs awkward errands with Charlie. However, she chooses not to tell Charlie about her condition until it gets way worse.
Bella Thorne superbly acts against Arnold Schwarzenegger’s son Patrick Schwarzenegger in the lead roles. The ending of the story is tragicomic, and with an adorable cast ensemble and a moving score into the mix, the formula is a real tear-jerker. By the time the credits roll onto the screen, you are left looking for some answers. If the final moments have rendered you speechless, let us try and give voice to your thoughts. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Midnight Sun Plot Synopsis
Katie Price lives a lonely life with her father, Jack Price. Katie is a moonchild with a rare genetic condition that does not allow her to go out into the sun. The condition is called Xeroderma Pigmentosum, or XP in short. From early childhood, Katie has had to stay locked in her home during the day. She has a best friend in bubbly Morgan and a childhood crush on a local boy named Charlie Reed. She would stare from her window as Charlie would skate by her house every day, wishing they could be together.
Katie’s dreams come true when on the night of graduation, Katie has a happenstance encounter with Charlie at the station. Katie freaks out and leaves as she has to arrange a funeral for her non-existent dead cat. But Katie leaves her diary behind, which would warrant another meeting with Charlie. In no time, they fall in love with each other. Katie is growing up, and her father cannot keep her confined anymore, while her condition progressively worsens. Thus, the film prepares the viewers for an inevitable destiny while reminding them of the value of life.
Midnight Sun Ending: Is Katie Dead or Alive?
Although Katie suffers from a rare genetic disorder that restricts her movements quite a bit, we remember Katie as this powerhouse of a person. Her health issues notwithstanding, she is a gifted musician with a heavenly voice. While her childhood was presumably spent in darkness, Katie’s life takes an animate turn when she meets Charlie. After an awkward beginning (where Katie comes up with a hilarious excuse to bid farewell to Charlie), they seem to hit it off quite well. As it turns out, Charlie falls in love with Katie from the very first encounter, and it is a match made in heaven. It is as if they are destined to fall in love with each other.
But she chooses to conceal her ailment from Charlie since she does not want to be seen as a disease but rather as a person. We empathize with her thinking, as some of us can only imagine what she has to go through. Her rare ailment lessens the life spans of the sufferers, and as Dr. Paula Fleming suggests to a devastated Jack Price, Katie’s days are numbered. Katie overhears the conversation and therefore chooses to live life to the fullest. On one of their night errands, Charlie takes her to her very first live concert. Outside the concert venue, Katie begins to hum and strum an enchanting tune, and people gather around her like bees attracted to a fragrant flower.
The night withers, and it’s morning before she knows it. Katie panics, and Charlie rushes her to a safe place. Charlie is clueless as he does not know about Katie’s ailment. Morgan gives him a rough idea, and Charlie gets to know the rest from the internet. She gets somewhat better and decides to break up with Charlie. But Charlie is not the kind of person who would escape. Together, they make the impossible possible. Charlie gives another shot at the swimming scholarship, and Katie records her first song in a studio. During the couple’s first kiss, Charlie asked Katie whether she would like to experience the sunset on a boat with him. Katie nodded to the proposal.
Towards the end, when Charlie is about to go out, Katie asks her father for permission to go on the boat with Charlie. After the mild protest, Jack Price agrees, and Katie sails out for her final voyage. The sun shines on her, and we see her smiling before the screen fades to white. In the post-script sequence, as her father empties the urn in the nearby lake, we become certain of Katie’s death. But hold your thought. Just as Charlie leaves for the swimming practice, ‘Charlie’s Song’ by Katie Price airs on the radio. This is the same song that Katie recorded in the presence of Charlie. Therefore, as long as her song lingers on, she is alive in the loving memory of her friends and her father.
Does Katie Arrange For Charlie’s Scholarship?
Charlie is a talented swimmer, but he can’t swim after an accident. At night, by the concert venue, they get undressed to take a dip in the chilled water on Katie’s insistence. With Katie by his side, Charlie feels like he can do everything. Charlie performs fairly well in the swimming qualifier. A little push from Katie makes him overcome his fear of swimming. When coming out of the pool, Charlie gets to know that the Berkeley coach is impressed. With Katie in his memory, Charlie moves forward with his life. But at the final moments, when Charlie comes around to give Jack a visit, Jack tells Charlie that Katie stayed in touch with the coach. Therefore, it is quite evident that Katie pulled some strings for Charlie so that he can grab that scholarship.
Is Xeroderma Pigmentosum a Real Disease?
In the movie, Katie suffers from a rare genetic anomaly called Xeroderma Pigmentosum, which is known by its abbreviation XP. You know how movies create fabricated realities, and some of you may be wondering whether the disease is real or not. In that case, we would be compelled to say that the condition is very much real. An ailment caused by an alteration in genetic codes, the rare condition affects one in a million. People suffering from XP are especially vulnerable to UV light, and long exposure to the sun can be fatal for them.
Due to the adversity, the moon children tend to have a shorter life expectancy. Much like Katie, every day is a gift for people who get diagnosed with this ailment. The condition usually occurs owing to a DNA modification in children born out of consanguine marriages (marriages between two people who are biologically close) but can be triggered by other dormant reasons as well. As of now, there is no known cure for the ailment.
Read More: Where Was Midnight Sun Filmed?