‘We Need To Talk About Kevin’ Movie Review – A Haunting Study Of Nature Vs. Nurture
I don’t think We Need to Talk About Kevin is a film you could say you either liked or disliked because of its subject matter. One thing’s for sure, “We Need to Talk About Kevin” will have you thinking about it for days. The best way that I could describe it is as a complete shocking experience.
The film is a psychological thriller that explores the eerie and discordant relationship between a mother, Eva, (Tilda Swinton) and her son, Kevin (Ezra Miller). The movie goes back and forth different timelines as Kevin grows up leading up to the “event” that changes everything.
It is quite a haunting movie as the director explores the never-ending debate of nature vs. nurture focusing on Kevin’s upbringing. The film will definitely make you think while never really judging the characters. It is up to you to decide on Kevin’s innate evilness and the impact of Eva’s parenting.
To be perfectly honest, most of the moments between Eva and Kevin were really hard for me to watch, they just irked me the wrong way because it is such a peculiar relationship. But at the same time, the goal of a film like this is to elicit some sort of reaction to what is happening on screen and “We Need to Talk About Kevin” succeed on every level. Even after seeing the film a few weeks ago, I still think about it and that’s when you know that something worked.
Tilda Swinton’s performance is exquisite, it is very quiet yet says so much. I already knew she was a fantastic actress and it was such a pleasure to see her in action once more. As for Ezra Miller, I had taken notice of him when he became my favorite character on the wonderful film, “City Island.” He was so quirky and lovable… well he’s not lovable anymore let me tell you. Miller has this gripping stare and you’re not sure whether he’s going to kill you or “psych” you. And his performance of Kevin will stay with you for quite some time. The movie also features John C. Reilly as Franklin, Eva’s husband and Kevin’s father. While he is present throughout the film, he is not the main focus of the story. That said I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bad performance from John C. Reilly and this will not break the trend, he is a perfect support to Tilda Swinton.
As to the pace of the film, well you probably guessed that this is not a fast paced movie, it’s definitely a character study in the pure sense of the term, yet it doesn’t feel long. I actually remember feeling really anxious to get to the “event” and find out what it really was. I had an idea of what it was because you get hints of during the back and forth, but let me warn you that the reality of it is way more shocking than anything I imagined. So if you are a gentle soul, this movie might be too much for you. But if you are even a bit curious about it, I urge you to go see it, because while I felt totally drained by the end of it, I had so many thoughts running through my mind, it’s intense!
As for the the nature vs. nurture question, to be honest I’m not sure that there really is an answer to it by the end of the movie. I am of the mind that they both have an impact and I tend to think that in this case I was right.
“We Need to Talk About Kevin” opens for a one week qualifying run in Los Angeles and New York today, December 9th and its full theatrical run will begin on January 27th, 2012.
In the meantime you should watch the trailer for the film here if you haven’t yet.