We Need to Talk About Kevin
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A suspenseful and gripping psychological thriller, Lynne Ramsay's WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN explores the fractious relationship between a mother and her evil son. Tilda Swinton, in a bracing, tour-de-force performance, plays the mother, Eva, as she contends for 15 years with the increasing malevolence of her first-born child, Kevin (Ezra Miller).Based on the best-selling novel of the same name, WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN explores nature vs. nurture on a whole new level as Eva's own culpability is measured against Kevin's innate evilness. Ramsay's masterful storytelling simultaneously combines a provocative moral ambiguity with a satisfying and compelling narrative, which builds to a chilling, unforgettable climax.
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Aside from those issues, it gives a very good picture of the kind of manipulative behavior that someone completely lacking in empathy can engage in. The spouses quickly find themselves at odds over what is really going on, while at the same time competing to win Kevin's affection. Kevin's ability to triangulate to maintain control of the household and manipulate the truth makes reaching out for professional help too dangerous. We live in a society that is way more likely to snatch a child then question its sanity. The concept that a problematic child is the "identified victim/ scapegoat" of a dysfunctional family is firmly entrenched in Social Work texts. In cases like this we end up with families being held hostage.
I didn't read the book so I can't comment on how well it portrays those characters. It was recommended to me after I shared an article on a facility for these children with a friend. Since I had already been studying the topic, it led me to wonder even more about where these children come from and how the world we live in can accommodate them. There are many professions today that require turning a blind eye to immorality; banking, politics, chemical and pharmaceutical companies, big oil, the military? As long as they don't openly kill anyone in an illegal way...there is plenty of room in American Society for one who has at least minimal self control. And I wonder.... is this a physical brain disorder or a spiritual disorder? If you believe in reincarnation you might ask, is this what takes our place when we decide the Earth is no longer an emotionally viable planet?
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Well acted and a disturbingly great storyline.