Saturday, July 21, 2012

We Need to Talk about Kevin's Mom

We Need to Talk about Kevin (2011) - Ramsay
At first it's jarring and even puzzling. But then you see the similar themes coursing through her previous films. Death and guilt and how to deal with it. Then you see that over-stylization of Kevin becomes far less of a hindrance. Actually you get to marvel at how amazing the film is put together. Here, Ramsay is definitely working on another level.

The film is obviously not about Kevin, nor the state of High School kids today, nor our society, nor the nature of evil. The film unspools all out of order as Eva (Tilda Swinton), examines her life as mom, as if she is searching for something she's done wrong to have a child like Kevin. How did she end up with an ogre of a man (John C. Riley) in the first place, let alone have sex with him and marries him? Obviously she is not a mom type. And young Kevin is an unresponsive bundle of creep. Then he grows up to be just a creep. He only leaves Eva alone to live through the massacre he commits. Is this her punishment? Does she deserve all the suffering? Of course not. It's a very hard film to like. But at the end she is the one waiting for his release. The film really affected me. Evil exists in this world as naturally as ice cream. No one is at fault for that.

One of the criticisms of the movie is that it is shallow in that 'free spirited woman trapped in the role of a housewife' way. I would've called it little more than trite, only if Eva was played by someone other than Swinton. It's her otherworldly quality that was just about perfect for the movie I thought.

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