We Need to Talk About Kevin

by HelluvaGirl

It’s been a year or two that I’ve been collecting myself to write about the film. It has never fully left me – like Antichrist of Lars, it lingers in my subconscious, and every now and then, I will return to it, remember the course of events, grope its concepts with my thoughts and reflect upon my own experiences.

What finally encouraged me to drop a few lines about what I managed to perceive watching We Need to Talk About Kevin, was the discovery of the great YouTube DP/30 channel, which appears to be hosted by David Poland, having 30-minute convos with filmstars about their particular roles – and people, it is absorbing! If you are a film enthusiast as myself, I highly recommend to watch the intellectual, insightful and much-revealing discussions.

So there, I came across Tilda’s interview. I am always fascinated by a very smart person, a deep person; say, a pro in what they do but also broad-minded enough (a lot!) to be able to abstract till the very universal phenomena of our life, society, art etc. and talk about those things rather articulately.

Tilda’s the person I lean in to listen to. And it was especially intriguing for me to discover what she said about the film which never left me, which I remember with a sense of superstition. The one I’d never recommend to pregnant women. The one much harder – or different – to watch for mothers.

There is one brilliant thought in Tilda’s interview about the film: parents have no idea what they do. It is a mistake to think that people having kids know what to do. We don’t.

To tell you the truth, I have forgotten many events in the film. What I can share, is my impressions concocted in the juice of time and thoughts about it.

It is a film about a woman who falls pregnant and finds herself unable to control things, which in their turn grow disturbing and in the end tragic.

In the beginning of the film, the main character is aggressive in the creative sense, self-absorbed, in control of her life, proud of her achievements, huge ego, and bam – a child, a chaos.

I am convinced by the things only she notices about her child. I know what morbid things can happen in life, and I succumb to the suggestion of her helplessness and revulsion.

What surprises me, is that in the very end she doesn’t leave the town, the state, the continent. It seems to me that she was waiting for her son, atoning for perhaps not passionately wanting him in the first place – and those feelings are never lost in the universe. They grow and become larger than life. Not-loving. Hmmm.

You reap what you sow. Did she regret getting pregnant, losing her life as she created it? Did she subconsciously blamed the son to have deprived her of everything she loved so much, of it all revolving around her? Was he a rival to her? A thief in that sense?

When one carries a child, those feelings are the seeds. Something always grows out of them, and though it is a very thin thread to follow, I believe we reap our deepest feelings sown in our children as their actions and choices later in life.

It is beyond my imagination how she stayed sane. But I respect her for not going away. Very much. Not making the social rejection the core drama but waiting for her son to hold her. It is like coming back to where they should have started.

Is it easier to love someone when we have nothing to lose? Did she really become a mother only after her ego, her self was destroyed together with the most precious human attachments?