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Film Review: We Need To Talk About Kevin (2011)
Movies
stainsteelrat
We Need To Talk About Kevin (2011). Directed by Lynne Ramsay, and based on the fictional book by Lionel Shriver. The film is mostly told in flashback from present day, following the massacre at a school by Kevin Katchadourian. The story is told from the perspective of Kevin's mother, Eva (Tilda Swinton). From birth Kevin is a problematic child, crying continuously as a baby, and then showing other problematic behaviours as he grows up. To Eva's frustration the doctors can find nothing wrong with him, and her husband (John C Reilly) also thinks everything is fine. The basic problem I have with We Need To Talk About Kevin relates to the crux of the story, which treads an odd line between horror and drama. I'm assuming the intention is drama, but then that makes a nonsense of the core story, which is why Kevin behaves the way he does. I don't profess to be an expert on the psychology of teenagers that go on to commit mass murder e.g. Columbine. But my understanding of those that do relates to them being alienated in later years, versus just being "born evil". In short a more convincing story would have given us some insight into why Kevin did what he did, and taken a more subtle approach to getting us there as well. Perhaps the book addresses this? Aside from this, Swinton does a great job of looking continually haggered and ground down. Reilly is good as the confused father/husband. Also the pre-teen and teenage children that play Kevin are suitably horrible. Inevitably the story is grim viewing, and exceedingly unpleasant in parts, hence only recommended for those who've got the stomach for it. I'm not sure it was for me, as it fell short of entertainment, even from a horror perspective. 3/5 (Average)
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