Writer: Shaun Grant (Screenplay) Craig Silvey (Story)
Starring: Levi Miller, Toni Collette, Hugo Weaving, Angourie Rice, Dan Wyllie, Matt Nable, Myles Pollard, Aaron L McGrath
Plot: JASPER JONES is a coming of age story about Charlie Bucktin, a bookish boy of 14. On the night that Jasper Jones, the town’s mixed race outcast shows him the dead body of young Laura Wishart, Charlie’s life is changed forever. Entrusted with this secret and believing Jasper to be innocent, Charlie embarks on a dangerous journey to find the true killer. Set over the scorching summer holidays of 1969, Charlie defeats the local racists, faces the breakup of his parents and falls head over heels in love as he discovers what it means to be truly courageous.
Tagline – The iconic Australian best seller now a major most picture
Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Powerful Mystery
Story: Jasper Jones starts when Charlie Bucktin (Miller) gets awoken by the town outcast Jasper Jones (McGrath) after he discovers a dead body of a local girl on his property. Asking Charlie to help him learn who was behind the crime, Charlie must keep his mouth shut when he knows the girl is the sister of his friend Eliza (Rice).
Setting out to solve the mystery Jasper must evade the curfew put on the kids of the town as he believes the town stranger Mad Jack Lionel (Weaving) is the man behind it all, but the mystery is harder to solve than this.
Thoughts on Jasper Jones
Characters – Charlie Bucktin is the teenager that is in the middle of the mystery about the death of the girl in the town. He befriends the one person everyone thinks it is as he must see the prejudice that the non-locals deal with being in the town. Ruth is Charlie’s mother that is always worrying about Charlie when he keeps breaking the curfew. Eliza is the sister of the dead girl, she becomes friends with Charlie as she needs someone to keep her feeling the right mind set during the wait. Jasper Jones is the outcast of the town who is easily the suspect the town will blame for the murder.
Performances – Levi Miller is good in the leading role, we have seen him in other movies and he has been making a reputation with this type of role. Toni Collette shines as we know she always will, she is such an incredible actress. Angourie Rice after The Nice Guys is an actress we want to see where she went next, here she is good and shows her potential. The rest of the stars are good for what they need to do.
Story – The story follows the mystery surrounding the death of a young woman and the mystery about who was the one responsible. We get secrets which help with the mystery as well as dealing with racial behaviour of the town’s people towards the ones that aren’t Australian. We do touch on other important subjects which come from the ending of the film, so won’t be spoiling them. This feels like a story that should have such a big impact though we don’t get enough time to process each moment to its full effect, this only disappoints because you do need to process large parts of this film.
Mystery – The mystery in this film comes from just wondering who was behind the death of the girl, even though this isn’t the only major talking point in the film as we end up seeing other subjects getting dealt with.
Settings – The small town setting in one that works for the film, it shows you could never know everything about your neighbours and you will need to be friends when things go wrong.
Final Thoughts – This does feel like a massively powerful movie that just doesn’t give us the time to process all the major talking points within the movie, this needed to be longer or a television show.
Overall: Too much to process at times.