‘We need to talk about Kevin’ is a film that strikes at the heart of parenthood, looking at how a mother comes to terms with her son committing a horrific crime.
If the son is too young to be punished for a crime as an adult should, then who is to take the blame? Does it fall on the parents?
In ‘We Need to Talk About Kevin‘, it is Kevin, played by Ezra Miller who commits a high school massacre of the type that has been seen in schools in America in recent years. The film looks at the effects this has on his Mother, Tilda Swinton and flashes back to when Kevin was growing up and events that might have shaped how is today or explained how or why he carried out his crime.
As Kevin grows up, his mother Eva increasingly becomes detached from her child. Her attempts at showing love are ignored and there is a coldness to their relationship. Eva distrusts her Son and believes that he caused the blindness of their daughter Celia. The film highlights the incidents that have led to Eva’s distrust of her child and her belief that he would harm his own Sister.
Throughout the film we are shown possible reasons why Kevin could commit the crimes he did, as a viewer you make a judgement about what caused him to commit the atrocity. Was he simply born that way, or was he created by his upbringing? It is a question that his Mother is trying to come to terms with in the film too.
His Mother is on the verge of a breakdown as only someone could who has seen their son commit a crime like this. Throughout the film it’s almost like we are inside of Eva’s mind, cutting back and forth between different memories, whilst she is trying to come to terms with what her son did and why he did it.
‘We Need to Talk About Kevin’ is a clever film in that it makes you think about the role Kevin’s mother played in the way he is. Is she the one who is mad, is she looking back at their past life in a crazy way? Again, this is up to the viewer to decide.
The film received widespread critical acclaim with some calling it the best film of 2011. Tilda Swinton was nominated for a number of awards for her role, including a Golden Globe and BAFTA.