We Need To Talk About Kevin
Whether having read the book or not, the nature of climatic events in this slow burning narrative are relatively predictable from the off, fortunately this isn’t a problem. The narrative is engaging yet twisted as Lynne Ramsey studies a mother/son relationship in a fractured format, slowly revealing, side by side, the build-up to the event and the resultant aftermath.
The beautiful construction of this film doesn’t boast a pretentious nature; the art behind the scenes is on display for all to see. One scene where Kevin’s mother wakes to him being interviewed on television, Kevin talks about his view on life; how it’s got so bad that half the time the people on TV, are watching people on TV and they’re watching people like him. Clearly this reflects to us, watching her watching him on TV. Emphasising the point that we’re the kind of people Kevin despises, fuelling his distancing from the audience.
John C Reilly unfortunately comes in only as a bit role, playing Kevin’s father. Of the family of four, he and adorable daughter Celia provide the only relatable characters. With this, Reilly pops up when required, to emotionally drive the narrative and credit must go to his ability to churn your heart with such little time.
The similarities between Kevin and mother are uncanny, even in appearance Tilda Swinton and Ezra Miller could be mistook for being closely related. Kevin’s hate is apparent, but subdued. Instead glaring and a snide attitude represent his repulsive view on life. During the mother’s narrative, where she must deal with whatever we are to guess has happened, she shows little hatred to Kevin, instead she appears empty and soulless. Both come across as inhuman, though it’s the human reality of the characters and the lack of supernatural, like in The Omen, that makes this all the more terrifying.
Beautifully shot, fantastically directed and superbly acted, We Need to Talk about Kevin isn’t the film of 2011, but it’s most certainly a contender.