It’s been a long time since I’ve written about a film on here. It’s been just as long since I’ve seen a film as haunting as “We need to talk about Kevin”.
My sister lent me the book whilst we were in Spain this week. I wasn’t overly impressed with it, considering how critically acclaimed it is. I stuck with it for a few days until I decided that for me the story just doesn’t work in book format. So today I watched the film with high hopes that the medium I love could do the story justice.
A quick synopsis *including spoilers*. Eva is an independent career-driven woman that although un-wanting of children, ends up getting pregnant with Kevin. Even in the birth Eva feels no attachment to the baby, that doesn’t change as he grows and ultimately leads to a disconnected relationship in which Kevin manipulates his mother and they form an unusual relationship that is as intensely close as it is distant.
Kevin’s character is everything you’d expect a psychopath to be, even as a young child: endearing yet dangerous, manipulative, charming, controlling and with an obscene amount of self-worth. Throughout the film Kevin commits small violent acts that lead up to the pivotal part of the story, Kevin kills fellow students in a high-school massacre.
In western culture and particularly in America, school shootings are sadly a common occurrence. With such a sensitive and important subject to consider I think this film was made with great taste and respect.
There is no big event to witness in the film, the killing is not glamourised or even shown, instead we are given the in-between moments. Meaning that we spend most of our time reflecting on Kevin’s actions through his mothers eyes. The amount of silence in this film is perfect to let us absorb such a serious topic and think about its application in real life.
Tilda Swinton’s performance in this film is outstanding. She conveys so much through her subtle facial expressions that a huge amount of dialogue isn’t needed. This great performance teamed with Ezra Miller’s (Kevin) acting, the beautiful cinematography and tense soundtrack makes this a film that I know will stick with me throughout my life.
In a summer where every blockbuster is a sequel or comic-adaption (don’t get me wrong I enjoy them, but they are only surface deep and quickly forgotten) this came into my life at the perfect time to remind me of what film is like at its best and how it can turn such a horrific subject into beautiful art that will never loose its original impact.
Here’s some professional, fan and official artwork that capture the intense relationship between an “unconventional” mother and her murdering son…