Movie Review: We Need to Talk About Kevin

The film is a family story in general, but in the focus, it deals with the sad union of a mother and her son. For Eva (mother), a difficult pregnancy process and the responsibility of a child who does not grow up easily has become a burden she has to shoulder for the rest of her life. Eva before birth portrays a strong woman with a free spirit, focused on success and career. What happens when you decide to give birth and your whole order changes.

From an early age, Kevin (boy) has been a grumpy and maladaptive child who was brought up with difficulty, exhibits attitudes that are difficult to understand for his mother. In his communication with the mother, he is blunt and cold, closed to communication, ignoring the commands and surprisingly, he continues these behaviors without any pathology. In the course of the film, the reasons for this illusion are revealed one by one. We can say that the fact that Kevin has a very healthy communication with his father may have slowed down the tension with his mother a little bit. Of course, it wouldn’t be right to describe it as if Kevin was the only one responsible for what happened. The director offers opportunities to capture such moments. I watched in amazement as Eva responded to her child when she was so depressed, “Before little Kevin was born, his mother was happy.” How hurtful such an unfortunate comment must have been for Kevin, perhaps, considering that his perception was not yet fully established. As an outside eye, I thought that sentence had been swirling around in Kevin’s mind all his life. The delayed and troublesome toilet training process seemed overwhelming to both of them. Kevin’s first physical blow from the mother came at this stage, which he does not forget even years later, as shown later in the movie stream. When we think from a psychopathological point of view, being stuck in psychosexual periods can cause a wide variety of problems in later life. Parents’ excessive oppression and control can cause the child to have serious problems in this period. For such reasons, it is understood that the “monster” that appears at the end of the movie did not write the story alone. It is obvious that the parents play an important role in the physical and spiritual development of the child and in the shaping of his personality and character structure.

Kevin is very angry with the mother. He vomits anger at his mother, as if he wants to take revenge for what he has or cannot live. He even does things that he does not allow or find appropriate, so that the mother can empty the bad inside. Maybe because she thought he was too similar to her, she was angry, saying, “You can be so tough sometimes,” realizing that she was just like him, that her upbringing and demeanor would not produce another child but him. Based on the concepts of mirroring and idealization in the relationship with the parent, we can say that it is very important for the child to overcome these processes without loss. In particular, he should receive love, approval and appreciation from his parents in order to complete his self-development in a healthy way.

Little boy, sibling jealousy… While we thought that the problems Kevin had in his communication with his mother were endless, at first a light of hope came on. The new member of the family, Celia (girl), has become a threat to Kevin with his birth. In this process, Kevin has turned into a more devoted and loving son to his mother. Unfortunately, this closeness was broken before long. Some feelings and concerns that Kevin could not resist… have caused him to maintain the same coldness in his relationship with his brother. For him, he was neither a good brother nor a good son from now on. And I’m afraid Kevin was the reason Celia lost one eye.

Perhaps the only but strongest aspect of this problematic profile I could see was that he was regularly involved in a sport. Kevin was pretty good at archery. He had similar tastes that strengthened his relationship with his father. But unfortunately, this hobby brought the end of both this family and many others. The last 15 minutes that I watched in amazement and fear, in summary, showed how big a role even the “mother” figure alone plays in a child’s life. We have seen painfully how the turmoils experienced by a mother during her pregnancy took over the whole life of the child without slowing down. I don’t know what could have been done, at what stage exactly, how to help. If there was a chance, could this boy have erased the past and started a life from scratch?

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