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We Need to Talk About Kevin

We need to talk about a few things. The performances in this movie are impeccably disturbing. The plot is excruciatingly enthralling. The outlook is bleak. The soundtrack is upbeat. You want to look away but you can’t because you think you have an idea of what might happen, and then it does happen, and you still can’t take your eyes off of the social and emotional meltdown happening right in front of you.

This particular meltdown is told through a series of flashbacks, memories, and present experiences. The story follows the relationship between Eva Khatchadourian (Tilda Swinton) and her son, Kevin. While John C. Reilly plays the role of Eva’s husband and Kevin’s father, Franklin, the movie is really about the damaged and hopeless relationship between a mother and her son.

From the very beginning, there is something wrong with Kevin. He cries too much as an infant, doesn’t speak as a toddler, and looks his mom straight in the eye and smiles when she catches him masturbating in the bathroom. Yes, Kevin is startling when he is only a toddler (Rock Duer). Kevin is infuriating as a young boy (Jasper Newell), and Kevin is utterly and completely terrifying as a teenager (Ezra Miller), at least to his mom. If anything, he is the perfect son to his father.

During the beginning of the movie, we learn that Kevin was responsible for a shooting at his high school. After that, we are taken step by step through the events that led up to the horrific incident. We see a mother who is not only suspicious of, but legitimately despises her son, yet keeps trying to somehow make connection. We see an oblivious father, archery lessons in the backyard, and the disturbing conclusion to a little sister’s missing pet guinea pig. We see a son who appears so evil that even Rosemary’s baby would have a hard time standing up to him on the playground should they ever cross paths. We see the meltdown of the entire thing.

The first five minutes of the movie are enough to hook you. Each minute thereafter is enough to make you cringe, gasp for breath, and stare at the screen in complete shock and awe.  By the time the end of the movie rolls around, you will already be wondering about specific elements of the story. In fact, you will already have a good idea of what exactly is about to happen. All I can say is this: When your suspicions are confirmed and the missing pieces fall into place, I don’t know that you will be able to make complete sense of life, at least not for the time that immediately follows the rolling of the credits. The last five minutes of the film were brutally honest and saddening. The final minute of the film left me dumbstruck and incapable of attaching a relatable emotion to what I had just seen.

Don’t watch this if you’ve got a bun in the oven. For every parent that dreams of what their kids will be when they grow up—a doctor, a lawyer, the next president of the United States—there are many more who don’t think about what they would never want their children to be, and that’s Kevin. Seriously, you will never crack a smile in this movie. Your face won’t know how to react. —SiriusReviews.com

Matt Jones

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