Friday, June 29, 2012

We Need To Talk About Kevin (2011)

JohnnyTwoToes tells you why you need to see this disturbing but powerful drama thriller !

We Need To Talk About Kevin, based on the novel by Lionel Shriver, tells the painful story of a mother coming to grips with her son who has just committed ghastly crimes. She has gone from living in a very big and beautiful home with her husband, Franklin (John C. Reilly) and her son and daughter to a small rundown home in a less than ideal neighborhood. It is just her now. Why? Where is everyone else? 

The film was adapted into a film by Lynne Ramsay who cowrote the script with Rory Kinnear and a little help from the author, Mr. Shriver. As a lot of films do, they tend to over sentimentalize the drama so it feels somewhat staged and fake. Ramsay's direction is a steady mix, methodically seeing our main character of the mother, Eva (Tilda Swinton) wearing down. Eva is shunned in public (sometimes violently) and her new home is vandalized. She is stared at no matter where she goes and she feels responsible for all that happens to her. Swinton does not overdue the anguish she feels, though. She sells her balancing between psychosis and normality so well that I could not help but to feel sorry for her. It is hard not to. 

Now, Eva is not the most enthusiastic mother, but she does what she can for both of her children and her husband while a good provider, financially, is a bit of putz. He means well but is clueless of the horror that is heading their way in the form of their son, Kevin. Eva, meanwhile has done the best she could do, I guess, to be a homemaker but she sees something in Kevin at an early age that scares her. His behavior, his manners, down to his bodily functions strike an uneasy chord with Eva, to say the least. She tries to have Franklin help out but he laughs it off as "Kids will be kids." Clearly, there is something wrong with Kevin. He is sullen, angry and hateful to his mother but fine with his father. Why? you might think you have this film figured out but it goes further than you expect with heartbreakingly horrific results. 

We Need To Talk About Kevin is NOT a horror film. Nobody walks down a flight of stairs upside down, or pukes up green projectile vomit. This is clearly a drama and a very effective one. Tilda Swinton is simply fantastic as Eva. Her looks are perfect for the role as a woman on the edge of losing it and to watch her in this film I could not tell she was even acting. Ezra Miller as the teenage Kevin is nefariously cool and malicious; saint to sinner with a split second smile. Johnny Greenwood's score is sparse but effective and is peppered with timely and sometimes darkly humorous songs. 

I cannot reveal anymore of the plot but needless to say this is not a film to enjoy, so to speak. I think that the director's intention, too. It is an uncomfortable film, with uncomfortable subject matter and it will kick you in the gut. At least it did with me. In the end, director Ramsay has made a real powerful film. About the only thing I will say is you really have to be in the mood for this one. You will be emotionally invested in this film so you might not like what you see, but you will be glad you saw it. This is out on DVD and On Demand. We Need To Talk About Kevin-***1/2 out of 4.


  1. Woww. Lovely review. Loved every word of it and undoubtedly one very disturbing but very well made film. Glad I stumbled upon your blog :)

    Here check out my passion for cinema -

  2. Thank you sir. I am sorry I have not responded to your kind words in a more timely fashion. I am glad you liked the review and the film.


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