Film Review: We Need To Talk About Kevin

We Need To Talk About Kevin is a harrowing drama that will linger in the mind long after viewing the film. Lynne Ramsay’s film generates a stygian air, but one that is wholly engulfing.

Eva struggles to live a normal life. As she starts a new job, Eva is haunted by the trauma of her past. She looks back on her life, and in particular her son Kevin’s upbringing, as she struggles to understand how and why her son was responsible for a horrific crime…

We Need To Talk About Kevin plummets the audience into the depth of Eva’s despair. The story is told through a series of flashbacks, jumping backwards and forth to different points of Eva’s past. For those unfamiliar with Lionel Shriver’s novel will be intrigued to see exactly how the tragedy plays out. As the film progresses more about the circumstances becomes clear, as well as Eva’s troubled relationship with Kevin. The story plays out from Eva’s point of view, which offers intimacy without aligning the audience with Kevin’s viewpoint.

The tension in We Need To Talk About Kevin is relentless. Ramsay manages to hold the audience in this state for the entire film. The cinematography adds to this unnatural feeling. There is a strong use of colour, a pattern of which is repeated throughout the film.

Tilda Swinton gives one of the best performances in her career to date as Eva. It is such a bleak role; Swinton plays the character with empathy. Ezra Miller is strikingly unsettling as Kevin, while John C. Reilly is solid in a supporting role.

We Need To Talk About Kevin details such an interesting tale. Dealing with such a emotive subject necessitates that the film is a heavy-going watch. Nevertheless, it is a superbly executed film and definitely worth viewing.

We Need To Talk About Kevin is being screened at the BFI London Film Festival in October 2011.