We Need To Talk About Kevin, Really
I recently watched this movie and I can say that it is a remarkable piece of art.
Lynne Ramsay narrates through Eva, the past, present and the aftermath of her son, Kevin. From birth, you could tell that something was up with Kevin with his constant crying whenever he was around his mother then being joyous around his father. I didn't understand why he hated his mother so much but after reading some comments on the movie, I had to agree with some of them. The reason of hatred towards his mother may be because of the fact that he felt the resentment she had towards him. If you watched the movie, you could see that when she was pregnant with Kevin, she wasn't too happy about it. I remember what she said to Kevin when he was about three or so, "Mummy was happy before little Kevin came along, you know that? And now mummy wakes up every morning wishing she was in France." That may be what fueled his hatred.
One of the things I don't get is how the father, Franklin, was so oblivious to the whole thing. Yes, Kevin acted nice when he was around but by the time Kevin was fifteen, he should have noticed the odd behavior in his son's attitude especially towards his sister, Cecilia. Now, that takes me back to when Cecilia was born. Kevin never liked her, I guess he wanted all the attention or something along that line. I remember when he was brought to the hospital to see his little sister when she was born, he put his hand into a jar of water and sprinkled it all over her face resulting in her crying. It's funny (or not) how Kevin and Cecilia are complete opposites. Kevin never smiled unless he did something bad and he was rarely in a good mood while his sister, Cecilia was a very joyous child, every parent's dream and loved her brother dearly.
My first thought to Kevin jerking off when his mother was watching him was he had some sort of secret obsession with her but it seemed stupid because it was for a fact that he wanted his mother to suffer. I guess he did that so she could feel uncomfortable with it. Going back to when he was little, Kevin caused his mother so much distress that she got angry and threw him against a wall which resulted in him breaking his arm. I can't blame her for getting to that point, in fact, I saw it coming. But the little devil saw that as a way to manipulate his mother by telling his dad he fell off when his mother was changing him. Before I go on, I have to say this, he was wearing diapers when he was eight? Who should I blame for that? Anyway, he knew his mother would feel guilty if she didn't do anything he wanted by making her remember about his broken arm by slightly touching the scar it left on his arm.
I knew that Kevin had serious issues when he became interested in what his mother was reading to him. Keep in mind that he never liked her but that night, he cuddled up to his mother and yelled at his dad (which he never does) to leave his room. She read the story of Robin Hood to him and he became interested in the bow and arrow Robin used, not Robin Hood the character. I found it quite disturbing how detailed the book was because it's meant to be a bedtime story, so describing how a bow and arrow is used isn't really a good idea to read to your deranged child.
There were so many things Kevin did that his father overlooked or took it as the mother being careless which made me dislike the father. I mean how oblivious can one be? Kevin took the sister's pet hamster and killed it without a reason. He also used the vacuum on Cecilia's hair which caused her to scream, then he used chemicals to treat Cecilia's eye which resulted in her needing to get a glass eye, yet the father blamed the mother for being careless. Dare I go on? To confirm the height of Franklin's own carelessness, he bought Kevin a bow and arrow as a Christmas gift, albeit when he was younger, he also bought him a similar one but less harmful. Do I blame the father for what Kevin did?
Kevin killed his schoolmates with a bow and arrow and also killed his father and sister. Yes, he became evil Robin Hood. I was devastated when I found out he killed his sister and surprised that he killed his father. I guess he never liked his father because, let's face it, his father never knew him at all. He got sent to juvenile jail because he was fifteen at the time and his mother even moved to a run down house close to the prison so she could visit him; she is his mother after all.
At the end, I knew he was scared when he was being transferred to real jail because he was turning eighteen. When his mother asked him the question all viewers wanted to know, 'Why?' He replied, "I used to think I knew. Now I'm not so sure." Well, I would love to know his previous reason. Why didn't he kill his mother? Was it because she was the only person who truly knew him?
The real question is: Whose fault is it? Is it the mother, Eva Khatchadourian who suffered the most from her son's actions? Her house was destroyed by people who knew who she was, she had to leave her high-paying job to be a clerk at a travel agency. She was even slapped in public by a parent. Does Kevin appreciate the sacrifice?