We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver (3 star ratings)Shortly before his sixteenth birthday, Kevin Khatchadourian kills seven of his fellow high-school students, a cafeteria worker and a teacher. He is visited in prison by his mother, Eva, who narrates in a series of letters to her estranged husband, Franklin, the story of Kevins upbringing. For this powerful, shocking novel, Lionel Shriver was awarded the Orange Prize for Fiction.
~from the back cover
We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011) - US Trailer - HD Movie
The Impossible Question of 'We Need to Talk About Kevin': Nature or Nurture?
Here, the family is not the gently glowing space where parents find the meaning in their lives, mothers do not always bond with their children, but teenagers—they kill other teenagers. We Need to Talk About Kevin. Courtesy of Oscilloscope Laboratories. What provokes discomfort is, rather, her very capacity to do so. Eva is persecuted—her property is covered in red paint, she is struck in the street—as if she, rather than her son, was really responsible for the atrocity.
With all of the recent gun violence, the term is often used to describe the shooter. But its true meaning, and its true effect on a person, their family and their community is often obscured. The troubles she had connecting with her son, Kevin, played by Ezra Miller so different from his sweet character in The Perks of Being a Wallflower , the incident when she breaks his arm in anger, and the problems she has with his behavior throughout his teenage years are recounted. Cecelia is blinded in one eye by an incident that could have been an accident or could have been as a result of Kevin. Eventually, we learn that Kevin killed 14 people in his high school with his bow and arrow before turning himself in, and has killed Franklin and Cecelia. Eva is shown having a hard time getting Kevin to stop crying as a baby, before finally standing next to a jackhammer to drown out the noise.
Almost from birth, Kevin shows his mother no love, just pure hate; he doesn't just push her away, but plays with her mind, finding ever new ways to hurt her. The film asks us to face up to two big questions: where does "pure evil" come from, and how should we as parents or as a society respond to it? For me, the term "evil" is not helpful. Instead I suggest we need to talk about the erosion of empathy. Unlike evil, empathy is scientifically tractable. You can measure it, locate it in the brain, and dissect it into its component parts.
It’s perfectly true, We Need to Talk About Kevin is “not an issue-based movie”
In flashbacks, we learn something about his short, unhappy life. His mother, Eva Khatchadourian Tilda Swinton , we soon discover, was somewhat ambivalent about having a child in the first place. She seems anxious and out of place in the new home. Some of this discontent apparently rubs off on and damages her offspring. Kevin is nothing but trouble from the moment of his birth. He cries constantly as a baby. Later, he takes a squirt-gun and sprays ink all over the maps with which she has carefully decorated her office.
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