We Need To Talk About Kevin



Exploring the realms of every prospective parent’s nightmares, We Need To Talk About Kevin is an eerie insight into a mothers disconnected relationship with her son.

Adapted from the popular novel by Lionel Shriver and directed by Lynne Ramsay (interestingly, neither have children) the film follows Tilda Swinton as mother Eva. We are introduced to her as a broken woman in a bleak and isolated world; the disdainful looks from her neighbours and the vandalism on her house provide clues and slowly unravelling through flashback, her story unfolds.

Her relationship with her first child, the eponymous Kevin is strained from the start, his constant crying as a baby and antisocial tendencies become more and more evident as he ages and becomes increasingly malevolent. John C Reilly also appears as Eva’s frustratingly oblivious husband.

The opening scenes are skilfully disorientating and a real sense of unease permeates the film; piece by piece we, as Eva does, become more and more unsettled by Kevin’s behaviour and the highly effective use of visual imagery help add to the eerie tone. One memorable scene involving a lychee of all things will have your hair standing on end.

Interesting questions are raised concerning nature and nurture and though it is suggested Kevin was born this way, this could easily be Eva’s unreliable narrating, attempting to exempt herself from the guilt she feels. In any case she is not portrayed particularly sympathetically, frustrated and uncertain she often appears distant and very rarely attempts to discipline her son. We see however with her daughter she is capable of being a loving mother and it is Kevin’s sinister attitude that prevents her from becoming close to him.  This is especially evident during his teenage years as the usual levels of adolescent isolation are intensified.

To say anymore would be giving away too much of the plot but suffice to say this film is as effective a birth control device as anything else and is enough to put anyone off having children. The truly chilling performance by Ezra Miller as Kevin is to be commended, however It’s really Tilda Swinton’s film, her performance, ranging from carefree to devastated, is simply mesmerising.  The film will leave you haunted, chilled to the bone and unable to shake it off for days; it leaves you wishing that they really should have talked about Kevin a little earlier.


Verdict: ****

2 Responses to “We Need To Talk About Kevin”
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  1. […]  Both Fassbender and Portman are fairly new to the western genre (we’re choosing to ignore Fassbender’s involvement in the dire Jonah Hex) and seeing two such accomplished actors share the screen is something we’re looking forward to. Portman, who has been attached to the project for a while, is also a producer on the project which is to be helmed by Lynne Ramsay, who last year directed the chilling We Need To Talk about Kevin […]

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