We Need to Talk about Kevin, directed by Lynne Ramsay, is a wonderfully dark, contemporary and morose film. Perhaps better than any, it manages to address the deceptively raucous currents of disaffected youth, in a manner that befits our current cultural landscape. The screams of violence are nascent, riddled with destructive outbursts and furry, and yet, no one, not even those closest, can hear their clashes and cries.
With that in mind, the film is surprisingly tonic, composed of complex notes of life: messy and complicated; and death, just as exhausting and exhilarating. It's not so much that We Need to Talk about Kevin captures our conscious, as it develops and reveals a collective apathy towards that consciousness. In short, it works to reveal that which remains woefully neglected, overlooked and, to use a turn of phrase, misdiagnosed.
What an incredibly alarming and stark portrait. The darkness is unapologetic, if not humorous. Which is to say that the film is masterfully dutiful and ripe, but not with complacency. Instead, it's concocted, in equal parts, of triumph and despair. Most of all, and in a very necessary acumen, it conveys a precocious sense of hope, understanding and optimism. The way the film is told, it's less that the narrative contains the seeds of authorship, as much as the viewer is placed in a position of nourishment.