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Columns : Screen Scene Last Updated: Apr 14, 2017 - 5:04:26 PM

13 Reasons Why - An honest look at tough subject from all perspectives
By Rouén Robinson
Apr 14, 2017 - 5:00:02 AM

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If You’re Listening, You’re Too Late...
A teen is told through cassette tapes why a classmate committed suicide after a string of culminating failures. On his quest to uncover the full story behind the events that led to her death, he will also discover how he was one of those responsible for her downward spiral.

Hannah Baker is a teenager who decides to take her own life, but instead of leaving a note she records her reason for doing so on cassette tapes with instructions for certain people to listen to them. Clay Jensen is a teenager with a crush on Hannah who finds himself in possession of the tapes and as he listens to them he finds himself drawn to seeking justice for her. Tony Padilla is friends with Clay and an acquaintance of Hannah who is watching over Clay as he processes all the information he learns on the tapes. Olivia Baker is Hannah’s mother and she is desperately trying to find out why her daughter slit her forearms in their bathtub. Bryce Walker is an entitled athlete with skeletons in his closet he didn’t know he had.

13 Reasons Why is not an easy series to watch once you come to the realization that it only gets worse with only the relief of understanding at the end. The suspense of watching Clay figure out what is going on around him mounts with each episode as he lets each thing he learns about the girl he had feelings for, but never really knew wash over him and sink in. As we get to see things from her perspective, but also from the perspective of the people she talks about on the tapes we get to flesh out the characters. The thing I loved about this series is that it did not only focus on the high school world and because of this you got to see the lives of the adults touched by this as well. The cast give it their all as you stroll through the present and past with them, but I must spotlight the performances of Katherine Langford, Christian Navarro, Kate Walsh and Derek Luke for keeping me glued to the screen. Diana Son and Brian Yorkey as co-showrunners are able to get the right directors for each episode that bring out a certain tone in the show helping each scene to drip with truth. This series reminded me of certain movies such as Pump Up the Volume, Ordinary People and The Accused that dealt with similar subject matter. This is an interesting view at an uneasy topic that is sadly quite relevant in our current climate.

I rate this series a rating of 4 out of 5.

On Netflix

See other reviews by Rouén HERE.

Rouén Robinson has been an avid moviegoer since childhood and has been critiquing motion pictures for almost a decade. He has been a film critic for The Cinemas on Tempo and was a judge for FLIFF On Location: Grand Bahama Island, an off shoot of the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF). Rouén lives in Grand Bahama and can be reached at redr1976@icloud.com and on Twitter @thereelrouen

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