Monday, 9 April 2012

'We Need to Talk About Kevin' Film Review

Adapted from the bestselling book of the same name by Lionel Shriver (which I have not read), I thought this was going to be more of a thriller but it was a surprisingly engrossing art horror.

After a horrific incident involving her son Kevin (Ezra Miller), Eva (Tilda Swinton) recalls the events that led up to it, from his birth onward. Shot from her perspective, Kevin has always been against her, whilst acting like a sweet boy to his dad, Franklin (John C. Reilly).  Eva wonders if what happened was ever her fault.

Retold from numerous flashbacks, the pacing of the film was much more adventurous then it really is. Though confusing at times, it soon became obvious what timescale things were being shown by Eva's hairstyle. You are given pieces of the puzzle and you try to work out just what this tragedy is. The fluidity of flashback and present is beautifully done, with sounds, colours or images that link and remind her of it.

One of the strongest elements of this film (and supposedly in the book) is the colour red and how this is represented in objects throughout the film to symbolise danger, caution, blood. In this way, there was always a foreshadowing of something to come and these things gradually heightened and developed.

The grotesque nature of the film also adds to the mental play between mother and son- in the film this is done in a sexual way which is apparently not in the book.

The conflicting characteristics of Kevin is also intriguing. Did he ever love his mother? Was he mentally unstable? Could she have done anything to make it right? What you question as the audience is if at any point this hate could have been dissipated?

Eva on the other hand is portrayed as the victim, innocent and deserving of our sympathy. She may be just as confused as we are. As the film leads up the the climax and the ending, her search for answers leads to an non-definitive explanation. Why did Kevin do what he did? 

Tilda Swinton- Eva
John C. Reilly- Franklin
Ezra Miller- Kevin

Both Tilda Swinton and Ezra Miller did a really genuine performance and I was surprised Tilda Swinton did not get an Oscar for this, though she was up against Meryl Streep :P

The film is dark, grotesque and really quite artistic, an interesting exploration of love, hate, destruction and tragedy. With strong solid performances by Tilda Swinton and Ezra Miller, 'We Need to Talk About Kevin' will shock you.

1 comment:

  1. Had really high expectations of this .. watched 15 mins but didn't really get into it :( Wah


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