17 November 2011

We need to talk about Kevin.

I saw We need to talk about Kevin at the cinema with Bern last night - thanks to Mamamia. It's based on the book by Lionel Shriver, starring Tilda Swinton. Such a brilliantly shot film, such an important story. It's a story about hatred and love and blame and warning signs and evil. And a mother's struggle to grapple with the tragedy, grief and blame her son has caused.

In the before, she lived a life with colour. A life of could have been travels, dreams and trying. So much trying, and compromise, with Kevin especially. But colour. 

In the after, her world was stripped of colour. Except the paint of blame she scrubbed off the walls, the porch, her car, her hands. The blood red paint. Always a reminder. The biggest could have been.

The film was thought provoking and confronting. You never know the burden someone carries. 

I wondered what it'd be like to carry her burden. So damn hard. She'd be grieving for the community while they'd be blaming her. Every moment she'd be worrying what someone would think of her. Carrying the burden having lost everything. Who would grieve for and with her? How could she start over?

It's an example of nature versus nurture. 

Sometimes you can't shape someone, no matter how hard you try.
Sometimes you've got to trust your gut instinct.
Sometimes people are pure evil, born that way, without explanation.
Even your own flesh and blood.
And a mother's love will always be unconditional. 


  1. I cannot wait to see this. Lionel Shriver is an amazing writer and all of her books have had a deep impact on me.

  2. Thanks for the thought provoking review. I will read the book first.

    SSG xxx

    Sydney Shop Girl blog

  3. I want to see this, and I don't want to. You know the way you sometimes have to work your way up to see something like this? It is so easy to choose a light and frothy or fantasy form of entertainment, but the hard hitting stories are the ones that last. I guess I will see it after all.

  4. I love Tilda Swinton, but I don't know whether I'd actually want to watch this movie. It looks far too creepy and unpleasant...I may have to stick to something lighter.

  5. The book was compelling. I'll definitely be seeing the movie. I'm going with a friend who also read the book, I may need a glass of wine in the cinema though.

    The question I most ask about it is if you were her would you, could you forgive? I still don't know the answer...

  6. There was something in the film that made me think she had forgiven him. See the film and come back to tell me.

    I haven't read the book but I hear the film leaves more to the imagination than the Book.

  7. Oops that made no sense. I meant I hear the book is more graphic than the movie

  8. Saw this this week....harrowing. I have read the book, and felt the same after reading it. Seriously considering an elective hystorectomy!!

    Tilda is brilliant.

    I wonder whether the chopping around of the story makes sense as much as if you hadn't read the book. I guess I just knew what was coming, and the punches at the end.

    I don't think she forgives him. I think she is resigned to the fact that he is her kid, and he is all she has left, and that they are in it together now.

  9. Tash - I was a bit confused at the jumping around, having not read the book. But it came together soon enough. I thought about the forgiveness by her preparing his bedroom at the new house.


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