Sunday, December 11, 2011

12-06-11: Violence begets violence

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN (2011) (R) **** 112 mins. D: Lynne Ramsey. Tilda Swinton, John C. Reilly, Ezra Miller.

Still struggling to come to grips with the heinous crime her teenage son had committed, a mother reflects on the past and wonders what she could have done to prevent it or did she contribute to it.

Like "The Bad Seed" and "The Good Son," "Kevin" is very much a horror film. Not the exploitative kind but the unnerving, disturbing kind that is all too real. At the start, you know Kevin did something unfathomable. As the film progresses you see flashbacks about Eva and her strained relationship with her son that began before he was even born. These are juxtaposed with her present day life, reclusive, drug addled, depressing. Based on the novel by Lionel Shriver, Ramsey paints a very clear picture about how a child's personality can be formed by their interaction with their parents.

Swinton and Miller and excellent as mother and son. Miller is quite chilling in countless scenes that highlight just how psychotic Kevin may be. Swinton is stellar as a mom who regrets becoming a mother and that disdain is transferred from mother to son and vice versa. John C. Reilly is great as a father who is oblivious to his son's behavior because Kevin chooses not to behave that way with him.

There are numerous chilling moments, frightening moments, sad moments and infuriating moments. It's definitely worth a look.

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