The Movie Waffler New Release Review - We Need To Talk About Kevin | The Movie Waffler

New Release Review - We Need To Talk About Kevin

Directed by: Lynne Ramsey
Starring: Tilda Swinton, Ezra Miller, John C Reilly, Jasper Newell

At some point in our young lives most of us go through a rebellious phase.My rebellion was fueled by the notion that I was more intelligent than my parents. Of course I wasn't but in my mind I was an unappreciated genius with intellectual complexities the world just couldn't understand. Thankfully I grew out of it and realised I was as dumb as everyone else.
Most parents have a fear that their child will be intellectually under-developed but the opposite can be just as big a problem. Many highly intelligent people end up as social misfits because from an early age they were the intellectual superior of their out of depth parents. Kevin is one such example, a hateful teenager who massacres his classmates days before his sixteenth birthday, thus avoiding being tried as an adult.
Ramsey's approach to this tale is brilliant, treating it from a narrative point of view like a horror movie. Imagine "Rosemary's Baby" if Rosemary had to raise the child. We see Swinton struggle with Kevin as a child, letting him away with one misdemeanor after another. Instead of punishing him from the beginning she lets her anger lead to an act of aggression which Kevin never reveals to his father, leaving it festering like a wound in Swinton's conscience.
Jasper Newell, who plays Kevin as a child, is a revelation. I can handle almost anything on screen but violence against kids I always find distasteful. Not Kevin, I was mentally willing Swinton to beat the living daylights out of the little creep. As always Swinton is magnificent, generating equal amounts of sympathy and scorn from the viewer. Miller is great too, perfectly cast with a face you just want to slap from his first scene.
When adapting revered novels film-makers could learn a lot from Ramsey, sometimes the simple approach is the best approach.