We Need to Talk About Kevin

We Need to Talk About Kevin ★★★★

The entire film plays out as a forgone conclusion as we're shown the wreckage of Tilda Swinton's life after her son's carnage. It is a tour de force of foreboding discomfort, the atmosphere utterly inhospitable. The narrative runs between the past and present, dealing with the consequences and causes of the horrible events, but it's never about if it will reach a horrible conclusion, rather how. There is an inevitability to the terror, every context already leading to the terrible climax, and the film is at times a dreadful puzzle of how we get there, an ambiguous and subtextual character study not of a demented sociopath but of parenthood in the face of such evil. The title rings loud throughout and long after it's over; if only there had been serious, sobering discussion regarding Kevin's behaviors, preventability may have been possible. But Kevin is brilliantly manipulative, and renders functional discussion an impossibility. Lynne Ramsay is unafraid to provide no answers, the strength of the terrifying and depressing story and its immaculate presentation standing on its own incredible merit.

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