Sunday, 23 October 2011

We Need to Talk About Kevin

Much like the book of the same name, Lynne Ramsay's We Need to Talk About Kevin is a slow burner. Filled with repulsive (but effective) imagery of stale food and red stained houses, WNTTAK takes it's time before tackling the real meat of its story: How does a 15 year old boy commit mass murder?

In fact, Kevin doesn't even utter a single word until 30 minutes into the running time. The film, instead, focuses on the mother, Eva - played perfectly by a disconnected Tilda Swinton. Shifting from present day, where Eva lives a sheltered and nightmarish existence, to chronological flashbacks of Kevin's upbringing. Disorientating at first, the film finally finds a suitable rhythm with which to tell the story - making the inadaptable nature of the book seem all the more impressive when watching the film.

The beautiful thing about WNTTAK is its ability to be its own beast. The depth and slow brooding nature of the book are imaginatively recreated on screen via Ramsay's uncanny eye for the sinister. Innocuous actions, like Kevin making a strawberry jam sandwich, are turned into painfully creepy insights into the mind of a sociopath. This is helped immensely by a mesmerizing performance by Ezra Miller, who turns Kevin into the Hannibal Lecter of a new generation.

As for enjoyment, the 112 minute running time will feel like 5 hours of intensive hard labour. But for sheer psychoanalytical depth and breath-taking cinematography, WNTTAK cannot be beat.

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