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More of a casual chat than an in-depth conversation (Please read the book)
We Need To Talk About Kevin (DVD)
Member Name: sbw80
We Need To Talk About Kevin (DVD)
Date: 08/06/12, updated on 08/06/12 (21 review reads)
Advantages: It's thought provoking and it will get you talking.
Disadvantages: For any in-depth conversation though you do need to read the book.
The story, not told in sequential order, is told through the perspective of Eva, a bit of an ice queen type woman who is dealing with coming to terms with 'the action' of her son, Kevin, which has had a damaging effect on the local community and has made Eva a social outcast. As the story unfolds more is learnt through flashbacks (well integrated ones, not like crazy sci fi) about what her son has done as well as how the relationship between Kevin and Eva has developed since Eva found out she was pregnant. Kevin's relationship with his father and sister is also explored to some degree but the film is very much focused on Kevin.
Tilda Swinton (The Chronicles of Narnia and The Beach) stars as Eva in perhaps one of the best performances of recent times (She should have got an Oscar nomination) and Ezra Miller gives a great if somewhat chilling portrayal of Kevin. John C. Reilly (Chicago) is Kevin's dad Franklin. Praise also needs to be given to the child performers Jasper Newell and Rocky Duer who play Kevin at various ages and Ashley Gerasimovich as Celia, Kevin's sister. The pure acting ability of the cast is worth it alone.
Extras are a little on the thin side with cast and crew interviews and a theatrical trailer. The interviews are interesting but there was an opportunity to delve further into the things we need to talk about regarding Kevin that couldn't have been expanded with a feature or commentary maybe.
Why you need to read the book
The book, as the film, is told entirely from Eva's perspective (Through letters to Kevin's father Franklin) yet the novel format provides far more insight into Eva's mind than a film can ever allow (And her mind is freaky, which makes it both difficult but rewarding to read). The film seems to center more around the idea of Eva coping with a son with evil tendencies whereas the novel gives more comprehension, things are never so straight cut and that Eva herself may need to take some of the blame for Kevin's actions as what he does is directed at her to gain a response. The book also provides more opportunity to see Kevin interacting with people outside of the immediate family and does a better job at demonstrating the high level of intelligence that Kevin has, showing his boredom and lack of challenge, as well as Eva's distaste for family life and desire to be elsewhere. Both Eva and Kevin's relationships with Franklin and Celia are also given more focus, particularly in regards to Eva's feelings in regards to Celia that the film overlooks suggesting that their relationship is normal. Yes, the book is hard to get into, it's cold in places, drawn out and self involved, but reading it gives you a sense of Eva is and how this may have influenced Kevin.
The original novel questions the nature of evil, is it a genetic trait embedded into our very nature or is a a accumulation of experiences, influences and childhood development. How much is nature and what is a product of nurture? It's by no means a new question, attachment theory is a well studied area (I won't bore you too much with it all, if you'd like to find out more google John Bowlby, Mary Ainsworth, Philip Shaver, Mary Target). The general understanding of it is that the attachments we form/don't form as a child affects our behaviors and relationships in later life. Whether this is the cause of Kevin's issues who knows but the possibility is addressed for less in the film than in the novel.
You might also like...
Elephant and Homeroom which are similar but from the perspectives of teenage school children.
Certificate 15 years and over
Languages English - Dolby Digital (5.1)
Subtitles English for the hearing impaired
Duration 1 hour and 52 minutes (approx)
This review is published under my user name on both Ciao and Dooyoo.
Summary: Amazing cast and great attempt at bringing the novel to life.