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Jan 24, 2012

Review: We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011)

                  Tilda Swinton, John C. Reilly, Ezra Miller, Jasper Newell, Rocky Duer and Ashley Gerasimovich.

Directed By:
                         Lynne Ramsay.

                This is a thriller drama based on American author Lionel Shriver's novel of the same name directed by Lynne Ramsay whose work i am unfamiliar with. From the first look, it really felt like a horror movie which in fact it is because i was scared by the whole premise of it and it works so well. So this movie tells us the story of Khatchadourian Family, Eva played by Tilda Swinton and Franklin played by John C. Reilly. This middle class family at the beginning of the movie seems perfect, they are in love with each other and celebrates it. Movie starts with them in that Tomato festival in Spain were i suppose they are celebrating their honeymoon or something and that scene is dreadful to see as you know whats coming, the red tomatoes will soon be replaced by the blood of people. One thing about this movie is that it acts like a puzzle, the flashbacks provides you some clues that you might want to piece together to solve the mystery but we are failed to do that. This movie offers you more questions then the answers at the end which you may not like if you are going to watch this movie thinking it may tell you everything about the characters that led to this catastrophic event. Its not a spoiler as you already know that Kevin, son of Eva and Franklin commits a dreadful act of a mass murder at his high school. This movie takes place after what happened and we see everything through the eyes of Eva as she tries to cop with everything trying to understand what happened and why? was it something of her own fault? was it the fact that Kevin was born evil? or was it the denial of Franklin that lead to this?

                We never know what actually lead to all this and what were the main reasons, we observe from the beginning that Kevin is not just another child. He is different, how? he is honestly the most unlikable child ever. What he does is cry and cry all the time and just makes her mother suffer and that is all. When he grows up a little, he doesn't do what his mother tells him and instead does the opposite. Eva tries to make him talk and tells him to say Mother or any word and he says no, he poops in his pants, he doesn't eat anything, makes mess of everything and just makes a mess out of everything Eva has in her room. Weird thing is that he acts very normal in front of his father, like the moment he enters the house Kevin is your ordinary child. This is something that bugged me throughout the movie, was it really something between them i mean why would i child of his age do anything like that or behave in such a evil and unbelievable way with his mother and not with is father, why this rivalry between them? We don't actually see the back story of Eva before Kevin that might possibly tells us was it something wrong with her but i know a person who have read the book calling it one of the best. He mentioned one thing in his review that in the book we are told that Eva wasn't ready for motherhood, she was on the peak of her career when she became pregnant and used to curse the child as it will destroy her career everyday but ultimately the motherhood feelings came to her when she held the child for the first time. So is this the reason why Kevin has such a relation with her mother, was he actually evil from the very start and Eva's evilness and her behavior towards him transformed into Kevin?

                     I can't believe this review of mine is turning into a big pile of questions so lets just get over that and talk about the movie. I thought this movie was quite disturbing and daring, i was uncomfortable and felt quite uneasy the whole time watching this movie. I didn't even felt so disturbing while watching 'A Serbian Film' which was superbly explicit and graphic but you know the emotional roughness really does effects you rather than the visuals so that was the reason. I think this movie is one of the best movies of the last year and a good filmmaking. It has a dream like effect and feeling the whole time somewhat like Martha Marcy May Marlene where you are completely lost in the present, past (flashbacks) and then the hallucinations where you honestly lose the track of time and quite confusing in a good way. In a way i think this is exactly what Ramsay tried to do, she was showing everything through Eva's mind and her thoughts, she wanted us to be in that confusing state of mind like her throughout the movie trying to find answers but ultimately failing. I have been a fan of Tilda Swinton's choice of roles, she have been around for very long but i'll be honest, i noticed her actually from the first Narnia movie and thought her expressions and attitude was good for a villainous kind of a role. She gave some good performances throughout her career and socially in the recent years but this stands as one of her very best performance. A career best i suppose, i was prepared to be blown away by her fantastic skills and i did.

                 I think this has to be my most favorite performance of last year from the movies i have seen, i am rooting for her and i know she is going to be nominated for Oscar too. She is compelling and quite convincing throughout the movie. Tilda herself feels like lost in her role of Eva, you will forget that Tilda Swinton is playing Eva but you will say that Eva is playing herself. This is the kind of commitment that many actresses nowadays lacks but thank God some of them still has that. Tilda is perfect as a love and wife to Franklin, then as a mother she is very believable too and followed by the suffering Eva she is even more convincing. A very strong performance that really is the best thing about the movie. All the three actors that played Kevin were absolutely great, Rocky Duer plays the infant Kevin, Jasper Newell plays the young Kevin and Ezra Miller plays the actual Kevin. I thought everyone did a good job, while Ezra Miller has this whole perfect looks for someone as evil as Kevin and everything exactly the right way that was suppose to be, to me, the most compelling Kevin was the young one played by Jasper Newell. I thought the movie was strongly directed by Lynne Ramsay, kudos to her i thought the directorial aspect of the movie was stronger. It was written very good too but i don't find that aspect very excellent, editing was good too. This haunting movie stayed with me for days after i saw it last year and you might as well be talking about Kevin for days and yes, We honestly does need to talk about Kevin.

Grade: A-