Directed By: Lynne Ramsay Released: January 13, 2012
I feel like I am arriving really late to the bandwagon. So late in fact that I might be the only one on it now. Everyone else absorbed this films messages, themes, imagery, characters and theory talks and are now off to other bandwagons, now prepped more intense film knowledge. Well here I am, all cozy on the wagon of one where I get to enjoy everything this film has to offer. And there is a lot…but at the same time I don’t think it’s my place to unload everything onto you, the readers. Instead I’m going to take this time to tell you why We Need to Talk About Kevin might be one of the best films to analyze and learn about film technique.
Raising a family is never easy. Eva (Tilda Swinton) knows this better than anyone, but she tries her best. With her husband Franklin (John C. Reilly) they do whatever they can to live a normal, happy life. But…there’s something off about their son Kevin…
It’s best to know as little going into this film as possible, in my personal opinion, though that isn’t easy. With it being nearly a decade old as of the time of writing this, you can’t look at any film analysis page without seeing mention of Kevin. The amount of creativity director Lynne Ramsay and cinematographer Seasmus McGarvey had in structuring this movie is admirable. Enough to, say, make hundreds of YouTube videos and essays about. It truly is a marvel to watch. Fron the equisite use of color throughout, to its framing and imagery. Everything is master class level of detail.
Even if you had all the best film techniques at your disposal, it would be lost if the cast couldn’t accurately portray the emotions needed to tell such a gripping and sad story. Leading you through her story is Tilda Swintons best performances, of a mother who is just trying to get by. She’s supported by a surprising John C Reilly, since I did go into this film without realizing he was in it and was pleasantly surprised by. But clearly the element that completes this is Ezra Miller as Kevin, with mention to Jasper Newell who portrays a younger Kevin. Both actors are incredibly unnerving and really gripped me. Even the entire ensemble cast and supporting cast all made the world around the family feel real with the reactions to events.
What’s most striking about the film as a whole is it’s use of color. If you have ever been in an English class in school, this film is that exact question of “what does this color mean?” put to film. It reminds me of The Sixth Sense in that you see red in so many ways, bright and in your face. You don’t need to read too far into it though, the red is there to warn you that life is hard and you just have to move forward. It’s one of the most noticeable aspects of the film, I couldn’t look away at any time because red would fill my screen.
In a general sense, this is possibly one of the best films I’ve ever seen. It is beautifully structured to keep you interested, the acting is great, and you could sit down and analyze it for days and still find something new to learn about. I don’t want to go into too much detail about what you might find, Kevin is best experienced with as little known about it as possible. Knowing why We Need to Talk about Kevin is well worth the time, the answer might be too much to handle though…
Have you seen We Need to Talk about Kevin? What did you think about it? Tell me about it below and stick around to read more review and more!