We Need to Talk about Kevin
We Need to Talk about Kevin
I discovered this film because my small scale research project for film studies was based on Lynne Ramsay. Obviously I couldn't give a presentation on how she is an auteur without watching it!
The film is an adaptation of Lionel Shriver's novel, 'We Need to Talk about Kevin'. It is about Eva, Kevin's mother, coming to terms with her sons massacre of fellow class mates at his high school. The novel is a series of letters from Eva to her husband Franklin about what happened previously and what was happening in the present. I was very excited to see how Ramsay would direct this, having watched her previous films and pretty obviously came to notice Ramsay really strips the script down to a bare minimum. The film took only 3 weeks to film and had an 86 page script.
'Kevin's mother struggles to love her strange child, despite the increasingly vicious things he says and does as he grows up. But Kevin is just getting started, and his final act will be beyond anything anyone imagined.'
I seriously recommend that everyone should see this film at least once. It is presented in a non-linear narrative, keeping you on the edge of your seat throughout. Tilda Swinton and Ezra Miller's performances in the film are fantastic, Swinton makes it incredibly easy for the spectator to connect and empathize with her character of Eva. Miller's Kevin constantly made me feel uncomfortable and anxious about what his next move would be. Ramsay really took advantage with the mise en scene, the film was dominated by the colour red, as if relentlessly following the character of Eva around, not letting her mind rest. It seems to suggest that reason Kevin killed his class mates was all her fault and that really, the blood on her hands because she was such a terrible mother. I cannot fault the way Ramsay shot the film because of her, as always, close attention to detail. Sound was also really used well, she used 2 or 3 sound bridges which I was really impressed by, linking the past and the present together in, a very strange, harmony. For instance, there is a sequence where a teenage boy is breathing heavily and being wheeled into an ambulance after Kevin's massacre, when the scene changes to Eva trying to scrub the red paint off her veranda. The sound links both scenes together, with the two, what you would assume completely different sounds, sounding exactly the same. (I hope that made sense!)
Overall, as you can see I was really impressed by this film, by both Ramsay's direction, script and casting. The casting I wasn't sure about was John C. Reilly, as I had only seen him in comedies before, but in the end he was better than expected. Safe to say i'd give it 5 stars. (I am also pretty disappointed the film didn't win anything at the BAFTAs last night!)