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BKNJ Review: 13 Reasons Why

Netflix again, with “13 Reasons Why”, is re-defining the entertainment landscape. They have managed to do this by turning the television series, into a long film. The best part is the binge-access, in which one can watch the entire season in a few days.

13 Reasons Why sets up the premise right away, which is important, and an improvement on the stories that take a little too long to figure out what you are trying to figure out. The scenes move fast, but the story moves slow. This sucks in the modern short attention span and keeps it.

Dylan Minnette, who plays “Clay Jensen” is a perfect cast. Clay is the only character solid enough to continue to watch navigate these complicated episodes. He is logical, not overly-dramatic, naturally introverted, and can be genuinely funny. He forces viewers to experience the plot of the movie, while occupying the mind of a slightly insecure male teenager.

Kathrine Langford, plays “Hannah”, and is a very believable character. My guess is Hannah has a borderline personality, which causes people to react poorly to negative emotions. High school is not the place to be working her obvious issues out with no supervision.

The cinematography is very good. The film-makers picked great locations, shot at great angles, but still in a way that keeps focus on the matters at hand. The cemetery scene was good. Cinematically it was beautiful, which makes the scene with “Courtney” a little more 4th dimensional. The way the past and present are shot in different tones, with distinguishing features among the characters, made that part of the plot easy to follow.

My opinion of this whole messy, dramatic, clusterf*ck, is that this is where post-modernism leads. 13 Reasons Why shows what probably is a very accurate interpretation of what American high school youth are exposed to. Talking about feelings and feelings, and the hormone induced feelings of high school kids is dangerous, as if they have any rational. Giving weight to teenagers' often incorrect opinions is not in their best interest. Teaching kids to explore their every emotion is what makes them take everything so seriously.

(CAUTION: Spoilers)

With a plot and dialogue as complex as this one, where brooding takes the place of words and all the parents look mildly strung-out, it is hard to feel anything but pity for Hannah Winter, who is ultimately the selfish one. As she sleeps the big sleep, everyone else is left all fucked up. I get that high school is the worst man, but the events were not terribly un-related to anyone else’s high school experience. Hannah takes no responsibility for her own strange reactions, then purposely sets herself up for more and more harassment by being socially awkward and hostile.

So after all of the melodrama, captain of the the football team (rapist) sends her over the edge and we get to see one of only two real horror-quality gore scenes (other one was the basketball game). I don’t know, I stopped caring about Hannah before her bitter end and realized she was the villain in my mind. She was created by the over-sharing, every feeling should be celebrated, beta-male, anti-masculine, “you’re a bigot” world, created by academia. (And I thought people were phony before.)

Hannah was willing to go all the way to get everyone’s attention, and she destroyed her parents in the process.

Hannah’s tapes do seem to set up the school for a pretty big fall. Catholic school ain’t looking so bad now.

Overall - Good

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