Musimy porozmawiać o Kevinie
Studentka Instytutu Filologii Angielskiej Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego (pod kierunkiem dr Justyny Deszcz-Tryhubczak)
The psychological drama „We Need to Talk About Kevin”, directed by Lynne Ramsay, draws attention to the painful topic of violence and misunderstanding in a family. However, it does not provide any concrete explanation for everything that happens in the movie. In her adaptation of Lionel Shriver’s novel by the same title, the director does not analyse the reasons for the tragedy but rather encourages the audience to think of these reasons by themselves and to develop their own opinion about the discussed issue.
Lynne Ramsay starts the story of the average American family’s collapse with the representation of the Spanish tomato fight festival in which Eva Khatchadourian (Tilda Swinton) takes part. However, this scene is probably Eva’s nightmare, because her destroyed psyche transforms such a joyful fiesta into the infernal demonstration in which tomato juice reminds blood. The walls of her house, where she wakes up alone, are also smeared with red paint. Viewers now notice the signs of her depression – a dried piece of half-eaten pizza, scattered pills and overall mess in the house. While shopping, she is being attacked by the neighbours, who imprecate her for having raised a killer and psychopath. After a while, some sectarians knock at the door of her house, asking whether she knows where she will appear after her death. Her answer is: „I’m going straight to hell”. However, that is not surprising because even her present life reminds hell.
The creators of the movie show how the road paved with good intentions may lead to hell, or, to put it mildly, to the moral decay of society. The popular writer Eva Khatchadourian, whose portraits adorn the windows of the bookstores, loves her rustic, but kind husband (John C. Reilly) and gives birth to a child, Kevin (Ezra Miller). Afterwards the spouses have to change their careless lifestyle and move into a new house in a provincial town. But quite soon the mother finds out that her child is quite problematic – he avoids talking to her, hectors her and does not want to spend time with her in principle.
However, there is nothing special and inexplicable in this situation, if we, the audience, consider the problem deeper: the boy pays too much attention to his mother’s negative emotions and words; for example, after Eva’s claim that she used to be happy before Kevin was born, he starts thinking that he is not loved and not wished in this family. Such words would hurt even an adult. A child’s mind is prone to the negative effect of a such claim much more. The six-year-old Kevin seems to see his restrained mother to the backbone and terrifies the audience even more than Kevin as a teenager. An attentive viewer would notice the signs of the future tragedy (school massacre, the murder of Kevin’s father and his younger sister) right during his childhood. The boy’s scary behaviour and the movie in general function as a metaphor of spoilt relationships in the family where a child was born but not wished.