We Need to Talk About Kevin

We Need to Talk About Kevin was Directed by Lynne Ramsay, known for Morvern Callar (2002).  It’s a macabre tale of a child school shooter and killer. I also feel it is a masterpiece. I have championed it for MOTM on the LAMB 6/2019, I hope I can get your vote!

We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011)
R | 1h 52min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller | 21 October 2011 (UK)

Kevin’s mother struggles to love her strange child, despite the increasingly dangerous 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.
Director: Lynne Ramsay
Writers: Lynne Ramsay (screenplay), Rory Stewart Kinnear (screenplay)
Stars: Tilda Swinton, John C. Reilly, Ezra Miller

It was produced by a multitude of people but the name best known to me on the list is Steven Soderbergh, known for Ocean’s Eleven and Traffic. The movie stars Tilda Swinton as Eva Khatchadourian/Kevin’s mother, John C. Reilly as Franklin/Kevin’s father, and Ezra Miller as Kevin as a Teenager and a cast of others. The age old question of nature vs. nurture is a fitting discussion topic after watching this film. Are kids born bad or do we make them that way?

In We Need to Talk About Kevin, we see a mother going back over the events of her life trying to determine what caused her son to commit a mass murder. It is a series of flashbacks. We learn the events of a child’s life that led him as a teenager to commit mass murder at his high school. The main character is the mother through whose eyes we see the flashbacks. She is trying to understand why her child committed the mass murder. In the end we are left with no real answers but lines that get us thinking. John C. Reilly is the mostly absent father who seems to think the problem is the mother and exalts the son as a very good kid. There is a lot of dark and frightening imagery of blood and sorts of 1970’s style psychedelic spinning rooms. Once all this calms down, the stark, ominous truth of what has happened appears. It isn’t remotely pretty.

I liked this movie a lot. In a world where Columbine happened, we still ironically have many people who choose to hide their heads in the sand on this issue. Instead of seeking answers they blame the devil. Rather than blaming the devil, we ought to be talking about kids like Kevin who threaten to kill and kill again all throughout the land. This movie doesn’t show us what went wrong with Kevin but it opens the door we need to enter.

The cast is perfect for their roles. You will likely hate Kevin’s character as I did, I hope they paid Ezra well! You will want to shake John C. Reilly when he acts like there is nothing wrong. I don’t mean to sugar coat this movie, it was uncomfortable to watch. At the same time, I feel it should be watched. From the dream sequence of a mosh pit of blood to the final chilling words of Kevin, this movie is a study that will most certainly keep brave viewers entertained. What’s more, it is a topic for discussion about another one of societies taboos. I have put this up as movie of the month on the LAMB. Please vote and help this movie win

Author: Damien Riley

I post film reviews both written & audio. I'm a writer & podcaster, BA/MA English from Cal State Fullerton. Based in: Victorville, CA, USA My film review site is rileyonfilm.com

2 thoughts on “We Need to Talk About Kevin”

    1. He’s good in that. This (wnttak) was a very early role in his career. I remember first seeing him in it and being repulsed as the character is meant to make the audience feel. Ezra is very talented.

Leave a Reply