REVIEW: We Need To Talk About Kevin

In the pages of history, cases of murder within high schools and other social environments have appeared regularly on the news and in newspapers, but for a theme of film, it is rather rare. So, because We Need To Talk About Kevininvolves a dangerously disturbed teenager, other segments of violence and a very vulgar use of language, it gives the audience the immediate impression that it is going to be a rather psychotic and gut-retching film to watch. To the viewers, it mentally develops from a drama, to a thriller and then to a horror and in the end, jumbles all three. Plus, the opening scenes of the film gives us an idea of the ending, there are a few twists and turns that will leave you with a few unexpected bombshells.

Having said that We Need To Talk About Kevin is very grim and depressing, there was another side to the film that is shown as we see a lot of beauty within. It’s dazzling in terms of visual production with breath-taking cinematography, art direction and a beautifully composed score with a very soft touch, to make the film a tad easier on the eyes. However, it does consist of segments that make it a psychologically disturbing film, especially during the first 5 minutes, but with a sublime technique of filming.

After gaining a rather unexpected but well-deserved Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in Michael Clayton back in 2007, British actress Tilda Swinton travels all the way to the US and provides a very moving and powerful performance that perfect interprets the feelings of a stressed mother dealing with her children, and a parent’s emotional pain from their criminal child. In the past, Swinton has often portrayed characters with a rather cold nature and although her role as Eva is overall very heartfelt and genuine, she does occasionally go back to being that bitter middle-aged woman, especially towards Kevin. Swinton will undoubtedly be a top contender for Best Actress and whatever happens, she’ll rightfully deserve her second Academy Award nomination, or maybe even her second win. John C. Reilly, an actor who generally selects a wide range of films to be part, stars in his darkest film to date and gives a decent performance as Franklin. He is perhaps the more normal parent who is unfortunately stuck in between the love-hate relationship between Kevin and Eva.

Now the true star of the show, Ezra Miller gives one of the biggest breakthrough child performances in recent memory as he portrays teenaged psycho Kevin. He is perhaps the most powerful teenage character that demonstrates the effects of childhood and the dangered influences from a soon-to-be criminal teenager. Miller as Kevin resembled Gaspard Ulliel as Hannibal Lecter in Hannibal Rising. As well as Swinton, Miller deserves a shot at the 84th Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actor. Jasper Newell and Rock Duer were literally mind-blowing as toddler and childhood Kevin, as they were terrifying to watch and they do leave you with a few jaw-drops or two. As for Celia, the cleanest one in the family so to speak (the daughter of Eva and Franklin and younger sister of Kevin) perfectly provides a performance that defines the innocence of children and how endangered they are even around their own family.

After a long break from feature films since 2002, Lynne Ramsay returns as writer and director where she brings forth a film that attributes a similar style of filming to Darren Aronofsky’s work in Requiem For A Dream and Sam Mendes’s work in suburban drama’s Revolutionary Roadand American Beauty. Alongside this, she introduces the occasional nonlinear narrative used frequently during the film, and it added more suspense by leading up to the events that occurred that it’s been telling throughout the entire film. Ramsay co-writes the screenplay beside Rory Kinnear in his screenwriting debut based upon the novel, and together they make the controversies, and the dialogue within convincing enough for it to feel like it is a bio-picture.

Overall, We Need To Talk About Kevin is a dark and sinister motion picture that was beautifully crafted and is guaranteed to be a favourite in numerous categories at the upcoming Academy Awards. If there’s anything that the film has taught us, it’s perhaps opened people’s eyes by showing the depression of a parent and what goes on in the minds of some teenagers of this generation. A word of caution; a strong stomach is required to go and watch this because it will haunt you for a long time and is guaranteed to leave you speechless as the ending credits roll.


~ by SJMJ91 on 15/05/2012.

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