We Need to Talk About Kevin

We Need to Talk About Kevin ★★★★

”Why wouldn’t I understand the context? I’m the context.

What a wonderful coming of age story right? Seriously though, after this, the thought of having a child in the future scares me. I had seen it before and still I wasn’t quite prepared. What an horrific story, as the film ended I wondered whether or not this was purely fiction. Thankfully it is. But it’s not as though the happenings that occur in the movie seem farfetched and that is exactly what makes We Need to Talk About Kevin so terrifying, the fact that Kevin could be anybody’s child.

Who’s to blame? If I had been one of the parents would I have done anything differently? Would I have been more severe? Would I’ve given the kid some psychological treatment? Could these kinds of cases be prevented? Those are some of the question that keep rolling through your mind as you watch the movie and, the questions sure continue to torment you for long after the film is over. Maybe the scariest question of them all is the simplest, yet, most complicated one and that is: “why?”. In the end sequence Kevin is unsure himself. I guess the point of some things is to just have no point. Still though, it is the lack of reason, the lack of straight forward motivations for Kevin’s consequent actions that makes his deeds so scary and disturbing.

In its own way We Need to Talk About Kevin is a horror movie, a great one to by the way. Well, I guess it is safe that it is the ultimate horror film for parents. If you are a parent and you see this and Prisoners or something like that in a row, well, I guess you might have a stroke. It’s similar to a horror movie even when it comes to its technical feats.

The cinematography in one hand is beautiful, giving nuances to the film as the visual symbolism becomes more and more evident. Most of Eva’s sequences in the present are soaked in red as she’s even often trying to get the “blood” out of her hands. She’s trying to clean up the gore that has marked her life but she will find it everywhere, in her finger nails, at work, in her hair, in her home, in her car and in her mind. She feels undeniably guilty and if you were alert you will see that it was her who introduced Kevin to Robin Hood, in what probably is the only scene where the two seem happy together. The visuals games work beautifully even in the juxtaposition of the past with the present that works quite beautifully. Great editing.
Score by Radiohead’s multifaceted guitarist Jonny Greenwood appears here with a soft, subtle yet haunting score and I could easily say the same thing about the sound design, which creeped me out. I mean the sound of those sprinklers. Just f*cking horrifying, truly bone chilling stuff.

Then we have Tilda Swinton in what might just be the finest performance I have seen from her, and well, that’s saying quite a lot. So Meryl Streep won an Oscar that year for what? Seriously, it’s shameful that Swinton didn’t even get nominated. We can see that Eva is completely shattered emotionally from frame one. Why? We can’t really tell at first even though something is obviously wrong. Then we see her get abused, raped, tortured psychologically by her own son. Never do we see a tear if I believe right, yet, it is evident the emotional turmoil that’s going inside her, it’s evident how broken she really is even if many of the times she doesn’t verbalize it. From her empty soul sequences of the present, to the scene where she finds out what happens to her family, to the scenes of taking care of Kevin as a baby, all of it beautifully acted.

Even though Swinton is the star of this picture and even though there isn’t much of a supporting cast, I would like to applaud Erza Miller and John C. Reilly.
Miller who’s rumored to be cast as Flash in the marvel universe gives here a chilling performance that defined him as a talent to watch. Plus I also have to mention the younger Kevin, Jasper Newell, who’s remarkably similar to Erza. The kid by the way is also terrifying.
Then we have John C. Reilly, an amazingly talented actor that has been as of late wasting his talent in projects that do not deserve him. It saddens me that this guy he’s now better known for Step Brothers than for Chicago or Magnolia. A smaller performance here but it’s still great to see him and he does deliver. 2015 seems to be his year since he has no less than four movies coming up, all of them auteur pieces that I highly anticipate.

We Need to Talk About Kevin is not exactly a joyful ride, still, as weird as this may sound, I still found pleasure and much of appreciation from seeing it. Yes it is disturbing but it is a movie that moves you, a film that interacts with every one of your senses. Even though you might be devastated, crawling on your sit, I guess it would be impossible to say that you weren’t affected by the film and that itself is already pretty rare.

Rating: B+

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