feedingbrett’s review published on Letterboxd:
Review In A Nutshell:
We Need to Talk About Kevin throughout left me extremely frustrated; it has a strong premise and the performances brought by the cast are beyond excellent, but the film's emotional pile up of unsympathetic hate towards its titular subject was simply exhausting.
The film doesn't seem to have any solid purpose towards the relationship between Kevin and his mother, Eva; leaving the audience with scenes that executes its emotions perfectly, but left with a blank canvas when putting it all together. For this film to be entirely effective, it needs to suggest something, and when it does, the filmmakers should pin it down and let it grow with every passing scene.
The film suggests the conflict between artificial and unconditional love, as Kevin was the source of Eva's loss of her past life, tying her down in a situation that she never felt comfortable with in the first place; he is able to sense it, therefore he acts on it with malevolence and spite. The film rarely shows itself committing to this idea and is reluctant to ever let the audience get inside of Kevin's head. Unable to understand him is the central reason why I found this film to be difficult, it needs to let us in, even just a little bit, so his hate for her would be justified and to show that he has awareness of his rationales.
The performances in this film were so great that it adds more to the frustration, as I truly wanted to like this film; tension are found in every scene, and that is because of the two leading performers simply acting at their best.
The more I think about the film, the more I repeatedly jump the fence, unsure which camp I belong to; whether I dislike like it. This is definitely a film that needs to be seen again, in order for me to be sure how I truly feel about it.