We Need to Talk About Kevin

Plot: Based on the novel of the same name by Lionel Shriver, the film follows the life of a mother struggling to raise her deranged son.

Year: 2012

Director: Lynne Ramsay

Starring: Tilda Swinton, Ezra Miller, Jasper Newall and John C. Reilly.

Absolutely gripping. Sensational. Psychological. What makes a film good? There are a lot of factors and when you combine them all together you get a perfect film. I will never call a film perfect but this one is up there. Like way up there. If you haven’t heard about this film and you start watching it you will probably find yourself feeling very confused because the narrative isn’t in chronological order. We get two different timelines. There’s one about Eva (Tilda Swinton), who plays Kevin’s mum, in the present time and then there’s the past time when we go back in time and watch Kevin grow up. Once you get your head around that you’ll be fine.

This film is special. Why? There are many reasons. The fist one being the acting. Tilda Swinton won my heart over. She is phenomenal, absolutely breathtaking in this film. Ezra Miller, who played Kevin, just blew me away. Both of them together created one of the best films I’ve ever seen in terms of acting. They were flawless. So much effort went into these roles. I will also mention Jasper Newall, who played young Kevin, to say he was only 10 years old in this film, he did a superb job. Credit goes to him for how psychotic this character was made out to be. What was so special about the acting were the scenes that didn’t involve dialogue. Their body langauge spoke millions.


The second reason was the way it was shot. There’s one shot that I absolutely loved at the start of the film, I don’t even know how to begin to describe it but it’s where Eva and Kevin are in completely different timelines and they’re washing their faces. It’s like they’re the same person. You’ll know it when you see it. Some shots were really simple yet beautiful as well. The framing of the film was perfect all the way through.


The film really messes with your head but they’re the best kind. You will probably need some downtime as well after watching it. It’s a viewing that takes a lot out of you. It’s the type of film that is worth a second veiwing because you will pick up on so many more things that you missed the first time round. I really can’t fault the film. Personally, it is one of my favourites. I am now going to discuss the storyline so if you haven’t seen the film do not read anymore.


There’s always a question, isn’t there? Who’s fault is it when someone commits a tragic crime. Humans always find something to put the blame on and it’s never the person who has actually done it. In this case, the mother is blamed and that’s usually the case. It’s always the parents fault. I’m not sure if I entirely agree with this though. Eva revists her entire past to decipher where she went wrong in raising Kevin that lead him to commit this awful crime.


Probably the worse case of post-natal depression you’ll ever see but I’m not entirely sure if it was that. Mother and baby struggled to bond because he kept crying all the time but she never gave up. She tried and she tried with him. There’s a part in the film where Kevin becomes ill and is finally nice to his mother and they cuddle and she reads him a bed time story. Then he gets better and acts like a total bitch to her. He is the worse kid I’ve ever come across. He was vile to his mother but every time his father got home he was lovely. He is the sickest child ever. There was one particular disturbing scene that I’m not going to go into but it involved a bathroom.

I praise the woman for sticking around. If I was her I don’t think I could have stayed, he was awful. She didn’t do anything majorly wrong. She even told him she loved him. The only thing she shouldn’t have done was thrown him which caused him to break his arm. She never did anything like that again and it was wrong but I could not find an ounce of sympathy for him inside me anywhere.

There’s a part in the story where Kevin injures his little sister with drain cleaner and she loses her eye. Of course his mother knows this but his father doesn’t think so. She should have taken the little girl and got out of that house. She was not safe and in the end she and her father paid the price. Kevin killed them and went to his school and carried out a Collumbine type massacre. Absolutely gut wrenching. I despise that kid with everything I have and why did he do it? We’ll never know.


“I want you to tell me why.” – Eva

“I used to think I knew. Now I’m not so sure.” – Kevin

People blamed Eva but if anything it was the fathers fault. He was the one who bought the child the crossbow and taught him how to aim and shoot. The only reason they didn’t blame him was because he was dead. If Eva had died, they wouldn’t have blamed her then but I guess everyone’s got their own opinions and this is just mine. The worse part about this story is he planned it out to perfection. He’s underage. He’ll be out when he reaches 18.


I haven’t read the book but I really wish I had. Books are always better than the film and they always offer more insight and knowledge. I don’t see the point in reading it now I’ve seen it but I bet it’s a great read.

Rating: 10/10.



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