Drama driven from be­yond

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Pay Television - 13 Rea­sons Why,

There are many rea­sons to rec­om­mend this new se­ries from Net­flix — per­haps not quite 13, but still. One would be that the first two episodes are di­rected by Os­car-win­ner Tom McCarthy ( Spot­light); a sec­ond would be that it is pro­duced by su­per­star singer and ac­tress Se­lena Gomez (orig­i­nally slated to play the lead role).

But above all oth­ers is that it an­nounces the ar­rival of a fan­tas­tic new tal­ent in the form of Perth-born ac­tress Kather­ine Lang­ford.

The 20-year-old plays Han­nah Baker, a teenager who we know from the out­set has com­mit­ted sui­cide. “Why?” is ques­tion on ev­ery­one’s lips. And the story, based on the best­selling books by Jay Asher, is sig­nif­i­cantly more nu­anced than it might first seem.

Clay Jensen (Dy­lan Min­nette) dis­cov­ers cas­sette tapes recorded by Han­nah — his class­mate and crush — be­fore her death. In them she ex­plains that there are 13 rea­sons why she 13 Rea­sons Why de­cided to end her life, and the re­cip­i­ent is obliged to lis­ten to the end, to travel to lo­ca­tions around the town as di­rected, to dis­cover the ex­tent they are cul­pa­ble, and pass on the tapes at their con­clu­sion. Or else bad things will hap­pen.

Through Clay’s jour­ney and flash­backs to Han­nah’s ar­rival in town, it presents a com­pelling vi­sion of the teenage ex­pe­ri­ence, rem­i­nis­cent of Sofia Cop­pola’s The Vir­gin Sui­cides.

Lang­ford is out­stand­ing. Even though we see her ex­per­i­ment­ing with her nascent sex­ual power over boys, and pur­su­ing the “bad boy”, with pre­dictable re­sults, she cap­tures a cer­tain oth­er­worldly sad­ness. You will see a lot more of Lang­ford in the fu­ture — you read it here first. stream­ing on Net­flix from Fri­day. For sup­port and in­for­ma­tion about sui­cide pre­ven­tion, con­tact Life­line on 13 11 14.

Kather­ine Lang­ford dis­plays an oth­er­worldly sad­ness in the se­ries

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