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Critics and audiences Need to Talk About Kevin

By Avidan Pell | April 22, 2012

10 years since her last movie, Lynn Ramsay utilizes Hollywood talent in her dark, satirical film, We Need to Talk About Kevin, which exploits the fa??ade-wearing citizens we deal with every day.

Based on the novel by Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin focuses on the mother of a troubled child, Kevin, played by Kevin Khatchadourian, who commits a massacre at his high school.

Kevin sees through the phoniness of the people surrounding him and refuses to partake in the meaningless activities that society deems as positive.

At the age of six, Kevin refuses to play with his mother.

Pooping his pants, he would sit in his own filth to watch his mother change his pants.

The audience questions the motives of Kevin throughout the film, but we are never explained the reasoning behind his terror.

Although never exteriorly expressed, the devastation and degradation of his mother, played by the talented actress Tilda Swinton, is evident as she evaluates how her past and present ultimately affect her future.

Through three distinct ages, We Need to Talk About Kevin explores the life of Kevin and his growing hatred of his mother.

This is a unique film in which you are not viewing the story of a murderous child; rather you are getting a viewpoint of his mother, an often unexplored character in similar films.

With a biased interpretation of her son, the notion of perception is examined in this film.

We find out that Eva had given up a well-paying job at a travel agent to mother her children.

Married to a man named Franklin, played by John C. Reilly, who only sees the goodness in his children, the frustration of the troubled child drives her to madness.

Reilly's attitude toward Kevin, is the infamous mantra of, "boys will be boys," and constantly contending that everything is fine with him.

Swinton is the perfect Eva, as she incorporates the timid mother who never wished to bear children before her husband posited.

In addition, she contains a fiery interior that allows us to believe that a seemingly mundane woman could harbor such hatred for a child that is a part of her.

The film begins with Eva engaging in the Spanish festival, La Tomatina, a tomato-throwing fight creating purely for enjoyment.

Her smile seems natural as it seems she is capable of accepting the chaos that ensues in her immediate vicinity.

With a certainly unconventional chronological exploration of Eva, it becomes clear that the festival is her acceptance of the violence that her son had endured, a sign that she can finally separate herself from her child.

An essay on acceptance and family, We Need to Talk About Kevin brings peace and tranquility for those who deal with the mistakes loved ones encounter.

The film is a successful attempt at realism.

Specifically, it speaks about the emotional realism that Eva wishes to dismiss. Tortured by her own thoughts and emotions toward her son, she feels isolated in a life, to which the offender is isolated himself.

The frustration builds when Kevin realizes that the only enjoyment he takes part in is the torture of his mother.

With the recent increase in high school massacres and other similar, inexplicable tragedies, many audiences will refuse to see this film and regard it as inappropriate and mockery.

We Need to Talk About Kevin is not a film about the murderous children who commit these atrocious acts.

Rather it is about the ones that are affected by these selfish children who know nothing other than seeking out attention as pure entertainment.

Disregarding this film would be a mistake. Its commentary on the pain and suffering that the ones who care so much about a unique human must go through when their mistakes are placed on themselves is an important one.

Becoming a prisoner of her own guilt, Eva is ultimately released from the societal chains she embodies - when her community completely disowns her.

Visiting her son one year after his incarceration, she poses one simple question, "Why?"

To which his only possible response is, "I'm not so sure."

The only possible reason for the actions of these murderous criminals is an immature anger they so highly value.

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