Sunday, 30 October 2011
We need to talk about Kevin
This is a powerful film. Very uncomfortable viewing. Brilliantly acted. The brutality of the story is underlined by the editing which delivers body blow after body blow as it chops and cuts from the here-and-now to flashback as the back story is told. It left me feeling very uncomfortable. As I said, a powerful film.
As it's difficult to talk about this film without giving the plot away, this will be a brief reflection! I can't discuss the plot or story as the way they are told are integral to the film. This film explores the effects of a mother's depression and the problems of a baby whose behaviour is difficult - to say the least. It charts Kevin's growth and development and the family dynamics that surround him.
This film delivers a study in pathological behaviour, in sacrificial parental love and it delivers a display of grace that is breath-taking. Despite all that Kevin does to his mother she never gives up on him - right up to the end of the film. The end of the film is hinted at in out of focus flash-backs throughout but you are never quite sure where it's taking you. You know it's not going to be pretty but it's actually worse than that when you get there!
The casting is excellent and Tilda Swinton and John C Reilly play Kevin's parents brilliantly. The film continually evokes feelings of sympathy alternating with horror. It is a journey of terrifying twists and turns and one which provokes the big question - why.
It is not comfortable viewing, but who said cinema-going should be comfortable? It is engaging - superbly well told. It will leave you with questions and it left me feeling like I'd gone 10 rounds with a boxer! But I want to encourage you to go and see it. I'll give it 8/10.
I hope that your story doesn't resonate with Kevin's or his parents. This story will resonate with your humanity as it explores guilt, forgiveness and grace.
UPDATE - THE MORNING AFTER WATCHING IT
I slept well after seeing this but my dreams were defintiely influenced by it and I awoke still thinking about the film - which is unusual as I don't often remember my dreams. Powerful stuff.