December 31, 2013.

This blog is now closed. After three years and 311 posts, I have decided to end this blog. I have enjoyed watching the films, reviewing them, and interacting with global readers.

If you are interested in contacting me, you can do so by commenting on any of the posts. The blog will remain live on the web.
Thank you to all the readers for your comments, ideas, and thoughts. They were helpful, stimulating, and enriching. This is Alene, signing off.

March 16, 2012

We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011)

When it’s over, the La Tomatina fight in Spain in the opening scene sets the tone for the entire film.  Eva Khatchadourian (Tilda Swinton) is a mother who struggles to bond with her vicious and conniving son, Kevin (played by Rock Duer, Jasper Newell, and Ezra Miller at different stages in life). When Kevin becomes an adolescent, his actions shock the community and leaves Eva to face the shame, guilt, sorrow, and regret of her son’s sociopath tendencies.  This story raises much debate on what comes first, the bad mother who creates a bad child or the bad child who creates the bad mother.  Was Kevin born of a demon seed brought into the world to commit heinous acts and wreck emotional havoc on his mother? Or did he become bad due to his mother’s neglect and lack of love towards him as a child?  The film doesn’t try to answer these questions. Instead, it allows open interpretation by the viewer.  I don't think this film is for everyone, especially if you haven't read the award winning book by Lionel Shriver that the film is based on.  However, if you are curious and a bit daring, you may find the film strange and slightly off-kilter, but good in the “off the beaten path” sort of way.  There are a lot of time jumps since the story reverts back and forth from past to present, which may require extra patience when trying to follow the storyline.  The film definitely demands the viewer to see “outside of the box” as well as interpreting, through the images, the psychosis of the characters.  It’s a very stylish film, but not in the popular sense of stylish.  The director, Lynne Ramsay, uses unconventional photography and her images illicit a feeling, an emotion, which are not all positive.  Ramsay uses the color red very effectively to convey blood and the bloodstains that remain in Eva’s day-to-day life.  If you do get to see this film, see if you can count how many scenes the color red appears.  I guarantee you’ll lose count. 

My rating:  3 out of 5

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