We need to talk about Kevin (2011)… always trust a mother’s instinct


We Need to talk about Kevin

My rating: 8

IMDB rating: 7.5

IMDB link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1242460/?ref_=nv_sr_1

Dearest reader,

Even though this is the second more ‘serious’ movie (Carnage being the first) of John C. Reilly that I’ve reviewed, I still think of him as a comedic actor and that is perhaps why I have not yet watched this adaptation of Lionel Shriver’s award winning novel with the same name.

The first thing worth mentioning with regard to this movie, is Tilda Swinton. She plays the mother, whose constant yearning of a life untroubled by the presence of her troublesome son eventually steers him off the edge. She is burdened by his deeds and feel personally responsible for the horrors he has committed as is made clear by the numerous shots of her hands stained by red paint.

This staining of paint takes on a complete theme of its own as the brilliant opening shot shows her participating in the La Tomatina in Spain. There, she is stained red by the tomatoes that is traditionally thrown during the festival, but almost every shot after that is either filtered or tinted red in some way or another. It is almost as if she stains/blames herself and therefore voluntarily goes for the complete absorption by the ‘blood’.

Ezra Miller, who I only know from Perks of being a Wallflower, stars in another adaptation of a best selling novel and his stand-offish nature and striking resemblance to Tilda Swinton makes him absolutely perfect for the role of Kevin.

Not having read the book, I cannot make a comment on the value of the adaptation itself, but a few things does stand out. The a-chronological way of unfolding the narrative adds quite effectively to the ‘stream of consciousness’ method of telling. At first the the time jumps are most confusing, but it seems that the more she talks the more organised her thoughts are becoming and so the pieces start to fit together.

All in all I really enjoyed watching something that was so well made with some great actors. The disintegration of the mind is always a touchy subject, but this movie handles it quite well. The slow moving plot can leave some viewers frustrated.

Want to read more on We need to talk about Kevin? Try these…

 Roger Ebert: We need to talk about Kevin

Film Quaterly: We need to talk about Kevin

Telegraph: We need to talk about Kevin


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