Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Its Clear, the should have talked about Kevin...

We Need to Talk about Kevin
Director: Lynne Ramsay
Starring: Tilda Swinton, John C. Reilly, Ezra Miller
Rated: R

NOTE: This is NOT a movie for kids. I know parents are very lenient with Rater R movies but I would not recommend this for anyone under 17.

This movie blew my mind. It is from the perspective of the PARENT of a youth that commits a horrible crime. Her experience in the neighborhood where the crime happened, AFTER the fact - as well as flash backs to the crime itself.

Tilda Swinton, who garnered a Golden Globe nomination for her role as Eva, mother of Kevin was SO convincing as the troubled and forlorn mother who struggled with her child literally since birth.  The movie opens with Eva at something that looks like La Tomatina in Spain - where she is metaphorically held up by the crowd, in the position of Jesus on the crucifix, covered in tomatoes, to represent blood, then slowly lowered down and covered dramatically by the commotion. Certainly setting the tone for how her life would run its course down the road. As a kid who took film classes in high school and college, the symbolism was awesome.

The movie touches on the effects of Postpartum Depression, and her own depression and self worth as a mother as she was aware of her depression and its affects on her son.  The balance of her motherly instincts and her intuition that something was not right with her son, was played in such a torn and heartbreaking way. You find yourself sympathizing with Eva - who tries to get people to see his red flags, only to be labeled a bad mother or out of touch.  We even see Eva get won over by his sweet little boy moments, second guessing even her own thoughts of behavioral issues.  Kevin goes from fussy baby to terrible twos that last several years, with moments of madness that only his mother seems concerned with.

The most shocking and intense part of this movie were the flash backs, and that is how we get to the topic of the actors that played Kevin - and portrayed the process of how the child became the young boy/man that ended up committing this crime.

Before I get started on the brilliance of Ezra Miller as the teenaged and current day "Kevin" I must acknowledge the younger actor - Jasper Newell played Kevin ages 6-8 years -- he was bone chilling. As we watched we kept wondering HOW they were able to get a kid to act SO well at such a young age. The lack of remorse, the sterile reactions to when he inflicted pain, and the ability to change from angelic to demonic behavior was incredible.

Now lets get to Ezra Miller. Talk about brilliance. This kid - who I had been impressed with in Perks of Being a Wallflower had the amazing effortless ability to switch on and off the troubled teen to adoring youth. His ability to inflict pain with NO remorse really freaked me out as a mother.  He showed love for his mother at some moments and then flipped back to the angry and insane teenager that frightened her to her core the next.

The mother in me kept trying to find SOMETHING good in him. Something redeeming, some reason for it all. Where was his anger and hostility coming from? Why did he hate her so? What lead him to have no remorse or accountability for his actions. I KNOW the movie was fiction..but the story was real. Real in the fact that in the U.S. we have seen it happen OVER and OVER. This movie gives you a scary and seemingly accurate view of how the entire ordeal could have begun or started. It goes to places that we as society don't want to talk about. It answered the questions I often ask after these tragedies "HOW does his mother sleep at night" or "I wonder how he was raised for this to happen!" and it gave me perspective on the humanity of the people involved in such a sad and horrible situation.

Watch this movie. Its on Netflix.  5 Stars for sure. *****

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