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Jasper Jones

Where to Watch Jasper Jones

NR
2018

Jasper Jones is a captivating Australian drama film from 2017 that explores the overpowering themes of racism, coming-of-age, and salvation. Based on the award-winning novel of the same name by Craig Silvey, which has often been likened to a Down Under version of Harper Lee's 'To Kill a Mockingbird' for its judgment on the human condition, Jasper Jones tells the story of a small, tight-knit community in 1960s Australia.

The plot follows young Charlie Bucktin, a bookish boy filled with imagination and curiosity, played by Levi Miller, who shot to fame for his notable performance in Pan. Shaken out of his relatively calm existence one sultry summer night, Charlie is summoned by Jasper Jones, the town's mixed-race outcast, portrayed poignantly by indigenous actor Aaron L. McGrath.

In the dead of night, the eponymous character, Jasper Jones, leads Charlie through the township of Corrigan and into the Australian bush, where they confront a discovery that forever changes their lives and irreparably splinters the community. The event tosses Charlie into adulthood as he grapples with the weighty issues of truth, morality, and maturity.

Levi Miller embodies Charlie Bucktin with an innocent eagerness and conveys a palpable sense of agony and bewilderment as he navigates through the plot’s twists and turns, displaying a performance that is as raw as it is mature. Aaron L. McGrath, as Jasper Jones, projects an outer roughness overlaid with a quiet desperation that draws the audience into his ordeal.

One of the most striking aspects of this film is its portrayal of racial prejudice and discrimination. Jasper, part Aboriginal, struggles against the bigotry and racism prevalent in the 1960s Australian community. The film shows the harsh reality of how the colour of a person's skin can, unfortunately, define their treatment and perception in society.

Another significant narrative in the story is Charlie’s evolving relationship with his parents, his intellectual writer father, portrayed by Dan Wyllie, and his frustrated mother, played by stellar actress Toni Collette. Both showcase spectacular performances depicting the cracks in their marriage, and the effect this has on their son’s worldview. This subplot provides a secondary layer of tension to an already taut storyline.

Hugo Weaving, rendering a nuanced performance as the town recluse with a troubled past, adds another dimension to the story. His character's arc touches on the theme of redemption and the possibility of salvaging oneself despite the odds.

The film, through its expert blend of unforgiving drama and mystery, explores the casual and insidious racist attitudes of the time and critically examines the morality and courage needed to challenge them. The fear and paranoia of the Cold War period also provide a tense backdrop to the narrative, shaping the community’s reactions and prejudices.

Filmmaker Rachel Perkins, known for her strong storytelling in indigenous Australian themes, steps slightly away from the norm in some aspects with Jasper Jones. She combines the classic elements of a coming-of-age story with a whodunit mystery. Her direction and Matthew Juckes’s cinematography express the film's critical themes subtly yet forcefully.

The Australian outback is beautifully captured throughout the film and sets the stage for this intense narrative. The scorched landscapes and starlit nights resonate with the characters' turmoils, reflecting the oppressive weight of their secrets. The film paints a vivid picture of rustic life in Corrigan, from the cramped and cluttered houses to the small-town social events and places that talk of a world much simpler yet surprisingly darker.

The film's exploration of the themes of friendship, bravery, and standing against a communal tide make it a compassionate, thought-provoking, and often haunting study of youth and the loss of innocence. The severe realities that it encapsulates through its storyline and performances strike a chord with the dark underbelly of society which is as relevant today as it was in the past. The movie manages to juggle multiple themes and still hold a compelling narrative, making Jasper Jones an important cinematic piece in Australian filmography.

Jasper Jones is a Drama, Mystery, Thriller movie released in 2018. It has a runtime of 102. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 6.5..

How to Watch Jasper Jones

Where can I stream Jasper Jones movie online? Jasper Jones is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Amazon Prime, Peacock, Peacock Premium, Plex, The Roku Channel Free, Kanopy, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD, Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Jasper Jones for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

6.5/10
Director
Rachel Perkins
Stars
Angourie Rice, Hugo Weaving, Toni Collette, Levi Miller, Matt Nable, Myles Pollard
Also starring Levi Miller
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