(Doesn’t he look hot there? He does. Murderers should not be allowed to be that hot in real life, okay, it’s just not allowed to happen because . . . well, it’s just not.)
The reason it’s so hard to rate this movie is because while you’re watching it, you don’t really . . . well, you don’t really think much of it. (And you wait for older Kevin to be shown, so you can gape at the screen, but that’s probably irrelevant. Erm.)
The entire reason I decided to watch this was because my friend Katie was round my house, and it came with my Sky Movies package for free. We were scrolling through (checking to see if Without A Paddle was there – it was.) when we stumbled across “We Need To Talk About Kevin” and we turned to each other and said the exact same thing.
“My mum’s read that book.”
Both our mother’s found it pretty disturbing to say the least. Katie (a pretty sheltered girl, she was complaining about her ten year old brother watching Hot Fuzz and I was like . . . my mum let me watch the Exorcism as soon as I was old enough to understand it. Of course, I was also old enough to realise I didn’t want to watch it and forced her to change it to The Exorcism Of Emily Rose. Memories.) hadn’t asked her mum what is was about, but me and my mum love to talk about books with each other and discuss all the little intricacies.
So my mum blew the ending (Kevin went on one of those AMERICAN killing sprees, where they kill everyone in their school. That’s discrimination. Sorry. But, seriously, British kids just riot, they don’t kill school-fulls of people on their suicide missions.) for me, which explained quite a lot, but didn’t actually take away from the movie. It just made aware of the actual topic of the movie – nature vs. nurture.
It’s one of those movies/stories, where the point isn’t really in the actual storyline, it’s in the questions that you kind of ask. I don’t know if anyone reading this has read ‘The Shining’, but the entire point, I guess you could say, was to confuse you as to the cause of Jack going off the deep end. Was the hotel actually haunted? Was it cabin fever? Or just him? The whole supernatural aspect was plausible because of Danny’s “shine” that he shared with the caretaker, but nobody else ever saw Jack’s visions. And, before they went to the cabin, he had a history of abusive behaviour (he broke Danny’s arm, like the mum did to Kevin in this movie; what do people have against arms?) and his dad abused him; he already showed signs of becoming the man he became.
My mum missed all of this, which confused me slightly when we were talking. She was like “oh, the hotel was haunted and made him try kill them! And Danny’s just his son; there’s nothing special about him!” and I just looked at her like . . . no, mother, no. The entire story is . . . well, it’s basically just there to make you question things.
(Someone that’s read The Shining discuss with me)
That little story is relevant, I promise. It’s an example of another story where the actual storyline isn’t the main attraction. Whereas the question in The Shining is “Was Jack affected by a haunting, cabin fever, or just himself?” the question in We Need To Talk About Kevin is “Was Kevin born like that, or was it a product of how he was brought up?”.
Which is why I find the movie so hard to rate – at the time I was just confused about his behaviour; he obviously didn’t like his mum (and I could see why), he seemed to love his dad and at times he seemed normal enough, only to get a rebuff by his mum. And the way it was shot made even the most simplistic of things seem sinister. Which was actually pretty cool. So, while I was watching it, I was morbidly fascinated by the entire thing, but at the same time . . .
The only reason I actually sat through it was because I wanted to find out why to all my millions of questions.
And I didn’t even get that.
The movie itself was good, and I would definitely recommend it, but I didn’t fall in love with it (though I was tempted to start it over and look out for little clues that might have given some answers away) in the way you fall in love with lighter films. But – to be honest – it would be a little weird if I did fall in love with the film. (Even with the eye-candy that is Ezra Miller. Like come on, he’s damn fine.)
If you take out the element of “nature vs nurture” and it was just a story based on storyline, it would probably be a 6-7/10; however, the combination of Kevin’s strange behaviour and his mother’s creepiness really pushes the rating up.
But I’m still stuck.
Because this is one of those movies that you have to think about. Me and Katie sat there, I ooh-ed over Ezra and she got uncomfortable because my little whitey isn’t used to watching movies above a 12. But then we discussed it. Well, kind of. She missed the whole “nature vs nurture” thing, until I pointed it out, but then we we were able to sit there and try and decide. It didn’t work.
How much does this movie stick with you?
I asked my grandma (she lives with us, it’s not like I skipped over to her house just to ask her about this movie. That would be weird. Although, when she didn’t live with us, I did used to skip over to her house to ask for hot chocolate. But I was six and she lived a few roads away, so still not weird.) and she watched this film when it first came out, a few years ago.
And she was still stuck on it.
I think most people would be able to let it go, but I find psychology pretty interesting, so this entire thing just confuses me. So that’s why I find this such a hard movie to rate; you don’t really sit there thinking “ohmygod, WOW!” while you’re watching, but it definitely sticks with you. And I’m not sure whether the fact you never find out the answers you want to know is a good or a bad thing – if I did know why Kevin killed all those kids, or why he immediately loved Robin Hood, would I still be discussing it with people? Would my grandma still talk about it years later?
BUT I STILL WANT TO KNOW!
I personally think that it was mostly the mum’s fault; if you watch, then you’ll see that Kevin was an awkward baby (literally right from the start) but she was a weird mother from the start. When she was giving birth, the midwife had to order her to actually allow Kevin to leave her. She was trying not to give birth to her baby. And then she wouldn’t hold him; instead leaving the dad to. And (due to his crying) she would sit there and tell him “mummy used to be happy until you were born, now mummy wakes up everyday and wishes she was back in Paris” etc. I don’t think she realises that babies can sense the fact you’re being negative towards them (so can dogs, in case anybody wanted to know). So basically, right from the start, she was imprinting all this into him whereas his dad was constantly giving him love. I think Kevin did love his mum (in a twisted way), but thought that love was never properly reciprocated – good scene of this is when he sits there and says to his mum “just because you’re used to something, doesn’t mean you like it – you’re used to me.” and the only thing she says is “well, if you don’t get used to it, you’ll have to deal.”
And, when he’s a (SERIOUSLY HOT) teenager, his mum takes him out for a day and (I was very confused as to why he actually went) he says something like “you can be very harsh” and she’s made some rude remark about him and he goes “well, where do you think I get it from?” Where indeed? This is my point. Whenever she gets irritated, she lashes out at him; don’t get me wrong, I agree with disciplining your child – but she doesn’t discipline. She just gets wound up and lashes out. And then there’s the constant belief that Kevin isn’t normal – right from when he was a baby. He can hear you. He’s (obviously) not an idiot.
This bit is what really kind of made me think – he does have some sort of attachment to her. When Celia was born. Right before Celia was born, Kevin’s mum was . . . well, kind of a bitch to him. (This is the whole “you get used to things you don’t like” situation, by the way) Think about “normal” kids – they all feel slightly insecure when babies are introduced to the family. (Unless they’re looking forward to the break from their parents, like I was xD) Kevin was just a kid – and he was quite obviously worried about having a sister born.
So his mum goes and tells her she doesn’t like him.
Then, after Celia was born, Kevin was ill and looked to his mum for comfort, pushing his dad away.
(This is when he develops the obsession with Robin Hood, too.)
My “theory” is that Kevin had a mental disability (even if it was only slight; my little cousin has autism and you would never be able to tell, until he has an episode) and that he felt he never connected with his mother and that she never properly loved him, instead pretending like she did for his dad (when he’s in prison and he tells her he thinks the time she broke his arm is the most honest thing she’d ever done, is something that I think shows how he thinks she feels about him), which lead to him hating her in a way. Or at least losing respect for her; why would he respect someone that was lying? Also, the immediate obsession over Robin Hood – an obsession that lasts his entire childhood, into adolescence. Not exactly normal. I mean, I don’t prance around waving my hands and saying “I’m a Teletubbie!” (Although, if I was, I would totally be Dipsy.) And, throughout his life, I think he adored his dad (many people disagree with me, thinking that he really had nothing but contempt for him, but I think he did love his dad) because he never did anything to hurt him and – towards his dad – he acted like a normal affectionate son. And then, at the end, when it’s revealed Kevin killed Celia and the dad, I was like . . .
Because I didn’t get it, but then . . . I thought about it. Throughout the movie, when Kevin’s a bit older, you notice how he reacts to his dad and Celia’s relationship – badly. I think he probably felt slightly pushed out and (especially seeing as he doesn’t appear to particularly like his sister) saw it as some betrayal, or something.
Obviously, he is a weird kid. Obviously, it’s his fault. But I don’t think it’s completely nature; sure, some of it is – look at Celia – but I doubt all of it is.
Honestly, I would give this move 9-10*’s IF THEY HAD A PSYCHIATRIC EVALUATION.
As for the acting . . . flawless. I just watched Ezra Miller in The Perks Of Being A Wallflower and . . . wow. Complete contrast. (He looks hotter in this movie, haha) And Tilda Swinton was amazing. You can’t fault her performance.
Bottom line: watch it. But make sure somebody else watches it too, so you can discuss what you think about the entire thing.