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We need to talk about violence and disturbing behaviour
We Need To Talk About Kevin (DVD)
Member Name: carlz2001uk
We Need To Talk About Kevin (DVD)
Advantages: Acting is outstanding, 'good' storyline if that is the word
Disadvantages: Slightly slow, long moments of Silence or long drawn out scenes, harrowing
I have wanted to watch We Need to Talk about Kevin for a few years now. I don't know where I first heard about it, but I think it was probably some film website or magazine when it first went into production. Call me morbid but the general gist of the film caught my attention as something that hadn't really been covered before - the American high school killings that occur quite tragically every now and then. I remember speaking to my sister about it and we both wanted to read the book too but decided to see the film first. For one reason or another it managed to pass me by on its release at the cinema. I get the impression it didn't do particularly well or wasn't in many cinemas as like I say it passed me by and I do visit the cinema quite regularly (in fact on researching this, it appears despite funding from the UK Film Council and the BBC, it only just managed to break about even on its $7 million budget). Anyway, when I saw it on Sky Anytime recently, I knew I had to watch it that night, and snuggling down with the iPad in bed I started to watch.
I wasn't instantly disappointed but I could tell by the cinematography that it had been filmed quite differently and it wasn't what I had been expecting. Only a handful of words had been muttered within the first half an hour or so and seemed to have long periods of scenes where an individual would just be sat starting at a wall, etc. It was just a little slow / weird.
The film spends much of its time avoiding what has actually happened. I guess this is the whole point as it's something that people don't seem to really talk about, and it follows Eva (Tilda Swinton) as she tries to get back to some kind of normality after what is referred to as the 'incident'. She lives alone and very much a lonely life with little money and enjoyment in her life. She is shunned by the community and although she was once a successful travel writer, works in a low paid job as a clerk in a travel agency. The film flicks between periods of time, and this is made obvious by various hair styles she has during the film. As a viewer you witness her living in a big grand house with a young child and husband to being alone with few belongings in a shack of a house. Although the film clearly follows Eva as its central character, it introduces the difficult relationship with her son from birth and over the years as he grows. This is the part of the film that I found most uncomfortable. Eva cannot bond with her son at all; he is quite frankly a terrible, naughty child who does everything he can to make her life miserable, even from an early age. I found this quite difficult to watch in places, being a mother; it's just terrible to see the effect they have on one another. He is detached and shows no emotions, except when he hurts his mother or others she loves. Eager to change his behaviour they have a second child who is perfectly 'normal' in the way she behaves and has a strong emotional bond with her mother, all of which seems to aggravate Kevin further.
The acting in the film is definitely award winning, evident in the number of nominations towards Swinton and her leading actress role - a far cry from Narnia. John C. Reilly is certainly different in this film than any other role I have seen him in before such as Step Brothers or Zombieland, but the acting by Ezra Miller of a teenage Kevin is simply haunting and it's clear why he has been recognised as one of the faces of the future by Nylon Magazine's Young Hollywood Issue.
At 112 minutes, the film does seem to go on slightly, however it all leads up to the final 5 minutes of the film where the 'incident' is played out in full for the viewer. Adapted from Lionel Shriver's novel, the film was premiered at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.
I can't make my mind up about this film. Perhaps it's because I wanted to watch it for so long, perhaps it's because it was chilling, either way I would definitely say it's a film that you need to watch and make up your own mind about.....
Summary: 4 stars