If you haven’t seen this film, I strongly urge you to do so once it is released on DVD wherever you reside. We Need to Talk About Kevin follows a mother (Tilda Swinton) and the aftermath of a horrendous tragedy. Most of the film, however, is flashbacks to the beginning – the beginning of the tragedy that is Kevin. We see him as a newborn, a toddler, a little boy, and finally, a disturbingly dark, twisted teenager. Another film I love that debates the theory that people can be born bad, as well as nature vs. nurture, this one is psychological and actually features very little violence. If you want to see the development and upbringing of a psychopath, this one’s definitely for you!
Like some of my reviews, I will try not to divulge any major details, as this film is one you must experience on your own, and you cannot really grasp its power unless you do. I must say, and this is definitely the girly girl in me coming out, that Ezra Miller (teenage Kevin) is gorgeous. Not like, “OMG, he’s so hawt”, but he’s just a beautiful specimen. The fact that he can act extremely well only adds to his attractiveness. Probably not since Patrick Bateman has a psychopath really grabbed our attention, and hormones. Okay, that’s enough fawning, because it makes me sound unprofessional, but it is the truth. He is a fabulous young actor and has a bright future. Watching a little kid grow up to be completely apathetic and sociopathic is sheer genius, and I really don’t think any other set of actors could really pull this off. That said, John C. Reilly as Kevin’s dad, and Eva’s husband, is a strange choice, because frankly, it is weird to see Swinton and Reilly’s characters get it on. It’s just awkward. But, that said, I think it adds to the message of the movie. They never really seemed to connect to one another despite being married and the parents of two children. This disconnect adds to the tension of Eva’s suspicions about Kevin being really “off” since birth, as he is pretty close to his father and his dad never sees his bad side. This is usually what happens – one parent gets the shitty side, and the other gets the glowing, perfect child. That part is really scary, because to me, it means that Kevin knows what he’s doing and can manipulate any situation to his advantage. Even when he is a young child, his father always stands up for him, using the typical “boys will be boys” farce of an explanation. Kevin is really fucked up and twisted since birth and it only grows more intense and palpable as he matures into adolescence. Some attribute this to Eva never connecting to her son or feeling that motherly love, or it could be said that he is simply not all right from day one, which contributed to Eva feeling as if she never could fully connect in a maternal way. You could cut the tension with a knife, and you really get the sense that you’re a fly on the wall of this family.
Without giving away too much, many aspects of the film foreshadow the ultimate outcome, and even small things seem to connect by the end of the film. Kevin also injures his little sister, tricks his mom into giving her computer a virus, and even kills his sister’s pet. Though there is nothing really gory in this film, you can feel the emotional side of it, rather than having gore shoved in your face for its own sake. Some movies don’t require it, and this is absolutely one of them. You should check this film out if you’ve not seen it, as it comes highly recommended. It may start a little slow, but give it time and a chance, and it will blow your mind. Fantastic, fantastic film.