Sunday, December 16, 2012

Now on Amazon Prime: We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011)

We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011) - Directed by Lynne Ramsay; Written by Ramsay and Rory Kinnear: Starring Tilda Swinton, John C. Reilly and Ezra Miller.

By Kenny Howell

Mental health issues are often swept under the rug in our society, which leads to a misunderstanding of severe illnesses, especially people who show psychopathic behavior.

We Need to Talk About Kevin, based off hte Lionel Shriver book, explores this subject. Tilda Swinton (Snowpiercer) plays Eva, a mother to a child, Kevin, she doesn't quite understand, and who is horrible to her. Early on, she takes Kevin to the doctor, and he assures her that there is probably nothing to worry about.

As Kevin gets older, his cold, brutal attitude toward his mother persists, which leads to an awful act of violence that is foreshadowed throughout the movie.

Ramsay does a good job at showing the psychopathic behavior of Kevin, and how it affects Eva. She also doesn't place fault, or try to figure out why Kevin is like this. Eva seems to have trouble connecting with people as well, which may have exacerbated the condition, but you can't fault her for trying to remedy the problem. And you also can't blame her for getting so frustrated that she starts to give up.

What I did have a problem with is that Eva never truly seeks psychiatric help for Kevin. I realize that the doctor said he was fine, but Eva is a well educated woman it seems, so she would know that she needed a second opinion. The possible reasons of why she wouldn't, say she was embarrassed, are never really explored. She basically just takes it for years until it finally leads to tragedy. And she is one that suffers the vitriol of the community, because they blame her.

This movie is far from perfect, but Ramsay tries to approach it honestly, and comes away with a conversation starter that is needed.

We Need to Talk About Kevin is currently streaming on Amazon Prime.

Rating: ***

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