Sunday, 10 November 2013

We Need to Talk About Kevin – Lynn Ramsey – DVD (7/4/12) As predictably harrowing as the novel’s premise, Lynn Ramsey does fitting and powerful justice to a very troubling story. The eerie soundtrack (that premeditates the tapping water of garden sprinklers- a key and unsettling element of the film’s disturbing scene of final violence) is innovatively arranged and written by Jonny Greenwood (having already explored inventive film music in There Will be Blood and Norwegian Wood). Tilda Staunton gives a very strong and arresting performance as the tortured mother, while Ezra Miller excels as the adolescent Kevin (he perfects a twisted smile of malevolence). Not only mastering a non linear fragmentation in the film’s first half (effectively building the portrait of a woman haunted by the past, lost in the present and bleakly coming to terms with what might constitute the future) but also creating some very memorable shots, brilliantly utilizing light and striking compositions (For instance: Tilda Staunton’s gaunt face framed by an expanse of Warhol-esque cans of soup, or later, sitting in the ghostly emptiness of a hospital corridor, holding a garishly discordant multitude of children’s balloons – both serving as dramatic examples of masterful control and calculated visual flare.  Having had everything she loves destroyed by what she created; the mother is left with lonely and unnerving challenge of understanding the destroyer. Before the film’s emotive and chilling influence had truly settled (i.e. very early on), it occurred to me that We Need to Talk About Kevin could be perhaps be the most hard hitting and torturously labored advert for durex ever conceived: ‘If they had stayed safe…We Would Never Have Had to Talk About Kevin’. However, such whimsical digressive thoughts were soon dispelled by the compulsive and immersive nature of the film. 8.5/10

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