Thursday, 17 November 2011

Movie Review and Rant - "We need to Talk About Kevin"

Thank you @mamamia for the double pass - I am SOOOO excited to go along to the premier!



Firstly, thank you to Mamamia and Hopscotch for offering tickets to the preview screening of "We need to Talk about Kevin", a movie I was very keen to go along and watch.

Secondly, the traffic. Sydney - what is going on? Seriously. I really want to know what the hell is going on with the roads out there.It was a rainy Wednesday night - who wants to go to the city on a rainy Wednesday night? Well, it seems that everyone wanted to go to the city and we were all sitting in the endless traffic snarl that slowly snaked it's way along the freeway.  I had allowed 2 hours to drive from Kellyville to Moore Park, a distance of 42km never imagining that it would take that full 2 hours to get there. So much for chilling out with N., pre-movie over a bite to eat and a chat. I say poo to you Sydney traffic. /rant.

And now, to the movie - yes, we got there and missed 5 minutes, possibly 10 minutes, maybe less and maybe even more. The reason for the confusion is the way the movie portrays the story. Written as a series of letters the screen adaptation doesn't follow the chronological order of the book, instead you are shown vignettes from the present and past and back again. However much was missed, it certainly didn't impact on the rest of the movie. The movie was brilliant. I don't watch many movies, but this is the way books should be adapted into movies - it left me speechless and for all the right reasons. Both the casting and the acting - perfect, I really couldn't find fault. There is much to be said for actors who don't use botox and Swinton could not have pulled off the nuances of expression needed had she been pumped with the celluloid-doll-making stuff. The dialogue was spare - it was all about the visual. The pain, anguish, confusion, realisation in Swinton's face and body were very real. The same goes for Reilly and the actors who played the various stages of Kevin. This sort of acting is what movies should be all about.

So, reasons why you should go and see this movie:
1. You've read the book. Forget going to see this if you haven't, as you won't be able to make heads or tails of what is going on and you will miss the subtleties that pepper the movie.
2. You like old style horror and suspense that leaves you lying awake at night. Sometimes it's what you don't see that is far more frightening than the obvious. This movie has plenty of chilling subtle visuals.
3. You're not squeamish about the topic of "parenting". At the heart of this story is the relationship parents have with their children and just how much is nature versus nurture. Without giving anything away, this portrayal is an extreme and will leave you questioning just how people tick - husband and wife, parent and child.
4. You like your movies a little on the arty side. This movie is full of angled shots, blurry fade outs and ins, extreme close ups, artfully cropped scenes and hand-held-on-the-go camera technique. It all adds to the drama and chill.
5. You're over movies that are full of dialogue. As mentioned, the dialogue is spare. It's all about the emotion and this is beautifully shown in the visuals.
6. You like to be able to hear the movie over the din of chip wrappers, slurping fizzy drinks and rustling popcorn. I can tell you that in the cinema last night, I didn't so much as hear a lolly being unwrapped. And that is a wonderful thing.

Reasons why you shouldn't see this movie:
1. You read the book, or at least tried to, and hated it. You will hate the movie even more.
2. You prefer your movies presented in an orderly fashion and really don't like movies with flashback scenes.
3. You don't like horror, graphic or subtle, and you're pregnant with your first child. To be honest, I would be squeamish watching this if I were in that position. Yikes...
4. You like happy endings. I don't think that's a spoiler alert, but there's little happiness in this movie. There are some touching moments and that's the closest you'll get to happiness with this story.
5. You don't like confrontation. The story will mess with your head and what it means to be a parent. If you're particularly sensitive, you'll be too frightened to read to your child ever again. In fact, you may even ban books altogether...

All in all, I loved the book and I loved the movie. I would rank it the second best movie ever.
Do you dare go and watch it? If you do, let me know your thoughts.

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