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Posts Tagged ‘ Screen ’

We Need To Talk About Kevin

This film is an adaptation of a novel by Lionel Shriver which deals with the life of a mother whose son has done something horrific. Tilda Swinton plays Eva, the mother in question, who has to not only deal with the fall out of this incident within the community but with her own guilt after the actions of her son. It stars Tilda Swinton as the mother Eva, John C.Reilly as the father, Ezra Miller as Kevin.

On one level the film deals with the nature versus nurture question. The film doesn’t blatantly side with one argument but shows enough so that both possibilities could be argued by the viewer. Was Eva merely an unfortunate woman who randomly give birth to an evil child or did her feelings of hate and disdain for the unwanted being inside her filter through  to the unborn and manifest itself into this problem child? Is the latter what lead to an automatically antagonistic relationship between mother and son, did this lead the son to doing what he did so as to torture the mother?

Or, as I said earlier, maybe her son is just a vindictive evil being. The flashbacks from time to time give the feeling of Eva looking back and chastising herself for not recognising earlier that there was something wrong with her son. How far does a child need to go before you acknowledge these issues? We can see occasions where Eva knew things weren’t right but didn’t act however no mother wants to believe there child is bad and Eva is the same as she desperately tries to salvage some form of normal relationship with her teenage son.

On another level the film shows how the parent of someone who commits an atrocious act must deal with the fallout. With her son incarcerated we see that Eva has grown accustomed to dealing with the ill feeling of the entire community. Being struck by still grieving parents in the street is not a big issue for her, neither is her house being vandalised or dodging other parents in supermarkets. Eva’s willing acceptance of the entire repercussions of her son’s actions, at times, gives an impression of self-punishment.

It certainly is an interesting and fresh angle from which to approach the act in question (Kevin’s crime). Often the lives of victims and victims families are focused upon but to take the view of the mother of a serious criminal and how their lives also become thrown upside down is thought-provoking.

In fact the  entire film is thought-provoking and also very scary in a confidently hushed way. The scares in this movie are, thankfully, the antithesis of cheap “horror” shocks like in films such as Hostel. The horror of this movie is more cerebral, more horrifying in the plausible reality of it.

The actin g in the movie is impressive. Swintin is impeccable as Eva. Thoroughly believable throughout from beginning, as a woman who’s life is now interrupted by the impending birth of this child, to the aftermath as a gaunt,drained, hurting shell of  a woman. There’s been some Oscar talk already for her performance in this.

In my opinion, credit must also go to the young actors playing Kevin, especially Jasper Newell who plays childhood Kevin. The acting of children can mostly be very limited and lacking powerful use of the eyes to suggest more, like  more experienced actors can employ. However,for someone so young, Newell has this down. The looks he gives his mother are unnerving and unsettling.

The film is well shot, edited and directed with some interesting use of visuals and music however, it is too long. Or at least feels it’s near 2 hour duration. Some scenes could have been omitted without taking away from the story, especially given the primarily slow pace of the film.

A challenging, disturbing, scary, thought-provoking statement of a film. This is not one for a Saturday night out or a date and certainly will not help those already afraid of having children. It is a film that you very much need to be in the right mood for, but if you are able for something like this then you will appreciate it.

Score: 4/5

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