Kevin's mother struggles to love her strange child, despite the increasingly vicious things he says and does as he grows up. But Kevin is just getting started, and his final act will be beyond anything anyone imagined.
Eva Khatchadourian is trying to piece together her life following the "incident". Once a successful travel writer, she is forced to take whatever job comes her way, which of late is as a clerk in a travel agency. She lives a solitary life as people who know about her situation openly shun her, even to the point of violent actions toward her. She, in turn, fosters that solitary life because of the incident, the aftermath of which has turned her into a meek and scared woman. That incident involved her son Kevin Khatchadourian, who is now approaching his eighteenth birthday. Eva and Kevin have always had a troubled relationship, even when he was an infant. Whatever troubles he saw, Franklin, Eva's complacent husband, just attributed it to Kevin being a typical boy. The incident may be seen by both Kevin and Eva as his ultimate act in defiance against his mother. Written by
In the scene where Eva is talking to Kevin about the maps on the wall of her room, one of the maps is of Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. See more »
Twice in flashbacks to Kevin's parents in their dating days, a UPS terminal with trucks can be seen in the near background. Those trucks have the new UPS logo, where if the time-frame is correct, the trucks would have had the old logo of a stringed parcel above the UPS Shield. See more »
I wanted to like this film more than I actually did...but it's still well worth seeing.
While the idea behind "We Need to Talk About Kevin" is exceptional, I was put off by the direction of this film. While I know that a non-linear way of film making is popular these days, it's often overused--and here it is not used effectively. Too many times, the film jumps about in time and this took me out of the experience. This makes the film too unnecessarily confusing--so I am glad that I knew the plot so I could understand what was happening. Additionally, the film used a very deliberate artsy style--such as the overuse of the color red (the tomato fight, the stack of tomato soup cans, the paint)--resulting in sledgehammer symbolism. For me, the story was very strong on its own and didn't need all these tricks.
Tilda Swinton stars as a mother of a child who is seriously disturbed. However, her husband (John C. Reilly) is in complete denial and inexplicably the kid is never taken to see a therapist (or exorcist). As the film progresses, the child grows from an Oppositional-Defiant child to a cold and ruthless sociopath as a teen. You never ever hear about how he is perceived by teachers and neighbors--an odd omission. However, including the child killing animals, having one of the parents in complete denial, sexually offensive behavior and the hasty behavior towards his sister are all excellent touches--which I noticed since I used to work with folks like this (which would explained why I eventually gave up being a therapist and became a teacher). Unfortunately, as the film is out of sequence, you already know that sooner or later this will all lead to Kevin committing some atrocities.
Overall, this is a very compelling but frustrating film. I already talked about the film style which left me flat, but I also thought it very odd how the only one who seemed to notice anything unusual about Kevin was his mom. Even clever sociopaths are noticeable--perhaps not to everyone but to only be apparent to one person? Odd... The film is worth seeing but it just misses the mark for me--it could have been great.
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