Review: We Need To Talk About Kevin

Lionel Shriver's controversial novel, We Need To Talk About Kevin's cinematic adaptation pulls no punches, but unfortunately left me asking why it was necessary. Lynne Ramsay directs this tale of a mother coping with the aftermath of her teenage son's killing spree at his high school. As well as seeing the aftermath, Ramsay builds up to the tragedy by showing us Kevin's youth where we see some signs of things to come.

The prominent theme that I noticed running through We Need To Talk About Kevin was whether someone can be born evil. And this is handled somewhat heavy handedly by Ramsay - young Kevin's actions and attitude feels incredibly exaggerated, in particular a scene where young Kevin and his mother play with a ball and another where Kevin destroys his mother's room. However, exaggerated these actions may be - it's still a difficult, unpleasant watch. Some moments have us thinking 'this child is evil' and others thinking 'his mother shouldn't act like that' - it ultimately lies with the viewer to decide whether they think Kevin or his mother is to blame.

Ramsay builds up to the tragedy fairly well, there's a dark sense of foreboding running throughout the film - so when it eventually occurs, it's hugely disturbing. Unfortunately, there's some incredibly heavy handed symbolism on the way - the colour red in particular is extremely prominent.

The performances are mixed. Ezra Miller is incredibly sinister, however has a tendency to overact - damaging the credibility of the film. I had little empathy for Tilda Swinton's character but it's hard to deny that this was a solid performance.

Unfortunately, I was just left thinking why does this need to be made? It's disturbing, unnecessary and unpleasant. Ramsay's direction is heavy-handed and We Need To Talk About Kevin is ultimately a nasty little film.

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