We Need To Talk About Kevin is a seriously terrifying British-American psychological thriller that got released on the year 2011. The movie might seem disturbing to many, and people who have a strong heart and are interested in psychological fiction genres can keep this movie on their watch list. The movie is mainly based on the theory “nature vs. nurture” and the story briefly describes a woman named Eva who is a successful writer who has traveled all across the world and has vast knowledge regarding cultural diversity and ethnic inclusiveness.
She unexpectedly finds out she is pregnant and is soon going to be a mother. Being totally unprepared for the journey her child, Kevin Khatchadourian grows up in an unaffectionate and careless household which results in some serious issues.
The movie is directed by Lynne Ramsay and stars Tilda Swinton, John C. Reilly, and Ezra Miller as the main characters of the plot. The movie is based on the novel “We Need To Talk About Kevin” by Lionel Shriver published in 2003, and screen played by Ramsay and Rory Stewart Kinnear. The filmmakers had planned the movie from the year 2005 and told in an interview that they had to go through continuous research, and it did not get finalized until April 2010. The movie had a budget of $7 million and earning $10.8 million in total, it got released in the United States on 21 October 2011. You can watch the movie on Netflix, Amazon Prime. The movie throws light on the importance of love and affection in childhood and how it can affect their whole life.
Storyline Of The Movie, We Need To Talk About Kevin
Jasper Newell plays young Kevin Khatchadourian, who was born to a reluctant mother, Eva played by Tilda Swinton. Though it is clear, she did not want to be a mother, yet her unacceptable behavior never fails to disgust as she never took care of him, neither showed him a bit of physical affection and infact not putting thoughts before saying harsh things to her small kid. She dodges off her duties as a mother and never teaches him about the right morals and absolutely inconsiderate about the mental instability he is causing to him, and perfectly describing what manipulative parenthood looks like.
However, Kevin’s father, Franklin Plaskett played by John C. Reilly, is slightly contrasting to his mother and is kindhearted, supportive, and helpful towards Kevin. Though Franklin fails to be the suitable dad that Kevin needs in that situation, he treats Kevin in an unfair way in respect to Eva as he is clearly more biased towards her. Let us discuss the situation when Kevin was a child, he behaved coldly in front of his mother due to the lack of love and her aggressive ways of dealing with Kevin. That day, Kevin was constantly throwing tantrums over toilet training which in turn made Eva annoyed and upset, and unbelievably throws the young child against the wall and breaks his arms. When Franklin comes home and sees his child with a broken arm, his first instinct was to hug Eva. Though Eva confessed in front of Franklin that it was her fault, Kevin manipulates her for his own good. The first time Kevin showed affection was when she read him the story of Robin Hood when he was sick.
A few times later, the couple welcomed another child, which further lubricated the mental instability of Kevin. He got jealous watching his sister receive the love and affection he was craving for all his childhood. Another thing that gets shown in the story is that Eva suffered from somewhat similar issues in her childhood days. Eva was too deprived of affection in her childhood and had continuous conflicts with her neighborhood people, though instead of working out on those issues or asking for help from someone keeping the thing in mind that she traveled to many places throughout her career, in contradiction Eva let her traumatic childhood come in place of her parenthood and she gifted her son with the same or even worse of trauma.
However, the reason for her indifferent behavior between her two children is tough to understand as she treats her younger daughter with much love, compassion, and warmth, and her daughter turned out to have a lively personality. One time she mentions that she hates anything that isn’t perfect, and Kevin might fall under the list. Little did she know that she was also on the list of his hated person and would pay back the ignorance in a different and dreadful way.
Once, mysteriously Celia’s, Kevin’s sister’s pet goes missing, and Eva suspects Kevin, who gets backed up by his father, and Franklin continuously tries to save Kevin’s image by making up excuses when in reality, Kevin killed the pet by the same bow and arrow Franklin gifted him. Franklin also taught him archery. The fight between the parents lead to divorce, and Eva started noticing the unusual and psychopath behavior of his son and lowkey gets afraid of him.
We Need To Talk About Kevin Ending Explained
Till now, we learned about the reason behind the problematic behavior of Kevin. Things take worse as the negligence, messed up parental guide, lack of love and physical affection in his entire childhood, sibling jealousy, and rivalry puts a deep, everlasting effect on him and pushes him to a dark place he can never escape. He turns from a child who has aggressive, angry outbursts and continuous tantrums to a complete sociopath adult.
The story then proceeds and shows the present scene where Kevin, now played by Ezra Miller sits in jail, and Eva comes to visit him. It is actually the second year he has been in jail, as he is underage he is in a minor jail and would soon be transferred to the adult prison. So what happened in between? Why did Kevin do such things which ended him up in jail? Well, the answer to the latter one is that Kevin is a psychopath, which is an antisocial personality disorder and a serious mental health condition. People suffering from this are cold-hearted, unsympathetic, and follow no rules of society, and not to be mentioned, his disturbing childhood and besmirch mother fueled up his mental disorder more and turned him into a dangerous being.
Kevin was charged with mass murder when he was only sixteen. On his sixteenth birthday, Kevin locks up his schoolmates and teachers in their school gymnasium and kills every one of them with his bow. And if you think that’s all, then you’re totally wrong, Kevin executes two other murders with his bow and arrow, and the two people turned out to be his own dad, the one who taught him archery and his own sister. And unfortunately, that’s not the ending, and he proves himself more inhuman and barbarous as he only spares his mother and gives her a lifetime of suffering and loneliness from the grief of her husband, daughter, and son, as he knew he would end up in prison.
When his mother visits him in prison, Kevin shows absolutely no signs of grievance, guilt, or regret in his behavior after taking the lives of so many innocent souls. On the one hand, Eva is disliked by the audience widely because of her past behavior towards Kevin, but the emotions drastically change at the end of the movie as people start noticing her pain too. She lost everything, she regrets giving birth to a human-looking monster, she herself has been a victim of mental health at her young age, though she was not ready for being a mother, yet she left her writing career for her family, fighting with her inner monsters every day, and it is prevalent that she is never going to be happy again due to her extreme losses.
Another thing that is surprising is her patience and forgiving nature towards her son, as even after murdering so many people she still visits Kevin from time to time and also initiates conversation with him. One of the reasons might be the motherly affection that grew upon her due to the guilt of being an ignorant mother.
The movie is dark-themed and emphasizes mental health, and also tries to establish the fact that there are a few people like Kevin who are living among us, growing up in ignorance and turning to monsters. The last scene of the movie is significant and memorable among the audience as Eva asks Kevin the actual reason behind his brutal acts, Kevin replies, “I used to think I knew. Now I’m not so sure”. The last line highlights the theory of nature or nurture, and the writer and filmmakers leave it upon the readers/audience to decide the answer to the debate.