The logline on Netflix states:
“When her 15-year-old son’s cruel streak erupts into violence, his mother wonders how much blame she deserves for his actions.”
This film explores the evil mind of Kevin and shows you the dysfunctional relationship he has with his mother from birth to adulthood. What is more intriguing to me is that in real life, we always learn as much as possible about people who commit acts of evil, aside from their motive. But, we never really learn about the people closest to them like their mothers and what they go through during the aftermath. Throughout the entirety of the film, we experience the mother’s guilt as she explores the notion that if she is to blame for Kevin’s actions. This film is a disturbing point of view from a mother’s eyes, witnessing the natural creation of a psychopath from birth to his teenage years, alluding one of mankind's biggest debacles: nature versus nurture.
In a nutshell, nature versus nurture is an argument that states it is a person's that DNA affects their development opposed to their upbringing and life experiences that shape their actions. This theme is the mystery throughout the film just like Kevin’s murderous rampage. The film does a wonderful job not revealing too much about what is disturbing the mother. All you know prior to the climatic point is that she has a horrible time raising Kevin.
This film is very poetic, showing images and flashbacks that tell the story, balancing her reality during the aftermath of Kevin’s actions. During the mother's reality in the film, we see that everyone in society hates her for raising a devil child. We see her hide from people who she knows, a stranger slapping her across the face, shunned by her neighbors, and co-workers vandalizing and ridiculing her. The imagery of this film tells the story in the best way possible because it leaves the audience to create their own conclusions of why Kevin did what he did without telling us exactly why. This may be very confusing but it all makes sense at the very end of the film, which is why it gives us poetic justice.
Tilda Swinton is absolutely brilliant in this film because her performance reflects the evil that can be rubbed off onto others without even subconsciously even knowing it. Ezra Miller plays a disturbing Kevin that captivates your curiosity to watch the film to the very end. This is because Kevin is the mystery that we are trying to solve. Last but not least, John C. Reilly is lovable as ever, making Kevin and the mother likable characters. From a film standpoint, I really enjoyed the color in this film, which is a nod to its astounding cinematography. This was complimented by its score, which built tension for the mother during the entire film. We Need to Talk About Kevin is a perfect example of a character study. I want you to watch this film and tell me whether it was the mother’s fault that Kevin acted the way he did. I believe that she did a pretty good job of being a mother despite what evil was conceived from her. I believe that it wasn’t her fault at all. That is why I want to know what your opinion is.
I believe that nature wins this argument over nurture in this mind-bending, thrilling tale of mother and son.