As you know, I've been looking forward to watching We Need To Talk About Kevin since I first saw the trailer. I know I'm in a minority but for some reason I don't enjoy Lionel Shrivers style so I didn't finish the book but I liked the essential narrative.
The film shows Eva, living a contrite, pleasureless life. Targeted by local vigilantes, working in a low status job, a figure of hate or curiosity amongst her neighbours. Flashbacks tell Eva's story of how she ended up this way and why she accepts this as her lot.
Starting as a free spirited, well travelled career woman, Eva does not take well to pregnancy from the start. She is unable to bond with her baby or escape his crying. She cannot nurture her defiant, incontinent, selective mute little boy. As he grows up Kevin builds on her unease and lives up to her low expectations, constantly goading her, tormenting his innocent younger sister while seeming to connect with his father. Eva is split between nervousness about her son and guilt at the thought she has somehow made him this way. Over the course of the film, mother and son are in a symbiotic relationship leading up to a mass act of violence.
The cinematography is great. The soundscape is clever and arresting - the sprinklers are haunting. There is a repetition of intense red colour schemes throughout the film. Splatter patterns are repeated. The lead characters mirror each others mannerisms, looks and behaviour.
Tilda Swinton, John C Reilly and Ezra Miller are all fantastic. Not to mention the young actors who play the little Kevin's. Ezra Miller was at the screening last night and the audience really did shrink away from him a bit, although he had folk queuing up to have a fag and a chat as we left.
This is very definitely a good film and I may even try the book again. Although I thought it was fantastic and lots of folks will disagree with me, but I didn't love this film. Something about it felt too "deliberate". What do you think?
Recently I've also rather guiltily enjoyed Drive which I didn't think I'd like at all. We also saw the Black Power Mix Tape as part of the London film festival. It was great to see some impressive footage - especially the interview with Angela Davis - but somehow it didn't quite seem to hang together.