Amazon Prime has allowed me to watch this movie for free, so I did. It’s not exactly the kind of movie you gather people around to watch. The movie is based on the novel of the same name by Lionel Shriver. I read the book some time ago. The movie stars Tilda Swinton, you may remember her as the White Witch in the newest adaptation of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
In a society where crime in schools seems to be sky-rocketing a movie that tells a story like this is pertinent to our current atmosphere. Just because it’s pertinent does not mean we welcome people telling stories about it. I have noticed that not many people have waded into the waters of telling stories about teenagers who murder other teenagers are school. I suppose it’s still something a lot of us don’t like to think about. In the end stories are always told about what’s happening in the world. One of the things happening in the world is major school violence.
Eva and Frank live a nice like. Eva owns a travel book company. She travels all over the world reveling in foreign cultures and destinations. Her husband is named Franklin. He words for an ad agency. They have a fulfilling life all on their own, but eventually they find out they’re having Kevin. Kevin is born and their lives change. Kevin always cries. They move out into the country. Eva hates the house; she misses her city apartment.
Kevin grows, but is a terrible child. He maliciously squirts colored ink onto Eva’s walls. He refuses to be toilet trained. Franklin says it’s all in Eva’s head; Eva says not. Kevin continues to grow and become stranger and stranger. A sister comes along, Celie; she loses an eye at a young age and the circumstances are mysterious. Kevin learns archery.
Eva works at a travel agency after everything is over. She goes to visit Kevin. They never say much. Eva’s house is vandalized by the local people.
Eventually the moment happens. Kevin takes his bow and arrow into the school gym and kills several people. He surrenders silently. It’s not until later in the evening that Eva learns Franklin and Celie are also dead.
Eva doesn’t know why her son did what he did. She prepares for him to come home, he was only a juvenile after all when sentenced. She deals with the vandalism and persecution. Eventually she finds she loves Kevin in her own way.
I had a hard time picturing John C. Reilly in this role. I know I shouldn’t have because I thought he was just great in Chicago. I always look at him as more of a goof, but apparently he can be serious too.
This isn’t the kind of movie you invite people over to watch. It’s a sad movie. It’s just sad all around. There is not really any glimmer of hope or happiness in this story at all. Eva eventually realizes she loves her son enough to allow him back into her life after he gets out, but that doesn’t change anything that happened.
The movie left out a lot of the discussion Eva and Franklin had about having children. Franklin was all for it. Eva was hesitant. There was always this thought in the back of Eva’s mind that her not entirely wanting children might have caused Kevin to turn out the way he did. That’s not really a part of the movie. It is a part of the movie to an extent. People are mad at Eva. They’re made because her son killed their children, but the movie never really gets into the part of the story where people question Eva’s ability to be a mother. Eva is in fact a fairly good mother, she gives Kevin everything he needs, but something still ends up being wrong with him.
Things are out of a sequence a bit. Eva doesn’t leave her family after Celie is born to go to South America; she does this when Kevin is a toddler and she goes to Africa.
What I liked
This isn’t really a movie you can like. You can say, “Oh, it was directed well,” or, “the acting was good,” or, “the story was thought-provoking,” but you can’t say, “I liked it.” Nobody likes a story like this. It was well presented for the most part. I was surprised with the acting. That kid that was Kevin was a brat. He’s either a really good actor or he’s just a terrible brat. There were parts of the book that were portrayed very well in the movie such as the scene where Kevin asks, “What personality?” and the scene where Eva takes a dozen cracked eggs from the super market because she doesn’t want to spend anymore time there.
What I didn’t like
This is a terrible situation. No one wants to think about that kid who decides to go into school and kill a whole bunch of other kids. It’s happened and it’s happened more times than any of us want to admit. What we don’t think about is how it affects the families of those children. How does the mother of the murderer live her life? What happens to her? How do people treat her? People blame her. There are always going to be the people who say, “You should have raised your kids better and this wouldn’t have happened.” We can’t say that because we don’t know for sure. Sometimes darling little Suzy turns out to be whacko. Nobody could have predicted it. There’s nothing anybody can do about it now. We just know that we don’t want to hang around Suzy now that she’s grown up because we’re afraid she’s going to cut us. Maybe she was raised by the most attentive mother ever, but that doesn’t mean Suzy can’t grow up and make her own choices or have a mental disorder.
Unless you know that some kid’s parents tortured them and abused them you can’t point fingers at a parent in this kind of situation. People took this out on Eva when they shouldn’t have. She had no control over Kevin, even when he was a small child. Kevin chose what he wanted to do and how he wanted to behave. Something was wrong from Kevin from the beginning and it wasn’t simply a matter of a mother not loving her child enough.
Look, this isn’t a movie your kids need to see, ever. I won’t go into details; just abide by the blanket statement that this movie isn’t for kids, period. Heck, this movie isn’t even for most of us adults.
I watched it once; I don’t need to see it again.
Literature related videos and movie previews, Movies based off of books