Only in the darkest of nightmares should the despair and disturbing events of a High School massacre ever be witnessed. However, audiences are forced to watch with horror the madness and misery of this controversial issue in director Lynne Ramsay’s film adaptation.
Based loosely on the chilling novel by Lionel Shriver, the film explores a mother, Eva, who’s consumed with guilt and grief due to her sociopathic son’s actions a year ago. Eva’s memories are interwoven in a complex confusing array of past and present scenes which highlights how a traumatised mother would be processing the situation on reflection.
From the seemingly innocent blowing of a white curtain, to the cracking of eggshells, each image is shrouded in symbolism and yet still appears natural, not artificial. Every colour and every sound is emphasised generating a visually provocative masterpiece. Ramsay uses these innovative techniques to deploy the question: was it Eva’s fault that Kevin became a killer?
The conflict between Eva and Kevin is represented wondrously by memorizing performances from both Tilda Swinton and rising star Ezra Miller. Memories of Kevin’s upbringing illustrate Eva’s growing despair, dislike and fear towards her child, triggering the most emotionally incomprehensible moments in the film. The climatic devastating day is tactfully skimmed over as Ramsay’s purpose is not to exploit the gruesome and gore of the massacre, but instead the events leading to and provoking it.
We Need to Talk About Kevin is a psychologically disturbing and powerfully intense film which leaves you speechless.