Review: “Casting JonBenet”

Sky Barratt, Staff Writer

The unsolved murder of 6-year-old pageant girl JonBenet Ramsey has, since the event happened in 1996, been speculated and obsessed over habitually by the public. It’s a scandalous story that points to a possibly accidental murder by a family member and a quick cover up. It’s heartbreaking. Especially because it happened on Christmas.

On April 28th, Netflix released an original documentary that’s been highly anticipated: “Casting JonBenet” directed by Kitty Green. I’ve watched a lot of documentaries in my life and I don’t exaggerate when I say that this is the most creative, cinematically beautiful, and most well-done documentary I have ever seen.

The story is told from the point of view of actors auditioning for the roles of the characters in the story (Patsy, John, and Burke Ramsey, a pedophile, a mall Santa Claus, the Denver police chief, etc.) mostly focusing on Patsy and John. The actors aren’t known actors, just people who tell their stories of times they’ve related to the character they’re playing. They talk about what could have happened and what would have gone through their character’s mind as they try to enter into the thoughts of their characters. As the show progresses, you learn more and more about the actors and enter into what could potentially have been Patsy and John Ramsey’s thoughts.

At the end of the show, all the possible scenes that could have happened are shown all at once. And it’s heartbreaking. Each and every scenario. The music, the lighting, the intensity of having entered the minds of the actors and their characters and suddenly seeing it played out is tear-jerking.

“Casting JonBenet” is an amazing documentary, portrayed in a very unique way that reveals the true tragedy of the story of JonBenet Ramsey. It will leave you maybe with tears on your cheeks but definitely with a contemplative attitude and a sense of deep loss. It’s definitely worth the 1 hour and 25 minutes you’ll spend watching it.