← Back to Reviews

We Need to Talk About Kevin

We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011)

Director: Lynne Ramsay
Writers: Lynne Ramsay & Rory Stewart Kinnear (screenplay)
Cast: Tilda Swinton, John C. Reilly, Ezra Miller
Genre: Drama, Mystery, Thriller

"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."

At first I thought this looked pretty promising with the artsy overhead shot of the tomato festival in Spain. It's a cool looking shot too with all those masses of people covered in bright red tomato juice.But as the movie went on, I started to realize the director was mainly relying on fancy tricks done in the editing room. By taking scene shots out of time context, it creates an illusion of tension. Then with the more abstract shots like the microorganisms, it creates a sense of importance and grandeur, that isn't present in the story outline.

If I think only of the basic story and not all the extra fancy stuff, I must say it's not all that powerful. Tilda Swinton was really good in this but the teen age Kevin (Ezra Miller), had a one note performance...a continual sneer, into the camera. I wanted him to be more multi dimensional, I wanted the story to be more multi dimensional. I kinda feel like I watched a one hour average movie that was jazzed up with clever editing tricks, that then masquerades as something more than what it really is.

We Need to Talk About Kevin, felt to me like it had nothing much to offer in the way of story narrative or character arch or anything substantial. Without the clever use of editing in climax reaction scenes out of sequences in the beginning of the film and some moody static shots. It never evoke any philosophical, existential type responses from me. I mean we don't really see any of the whys, hows, of Kevin being like he is. Nothing in the family relationship dynamics is explored.