Spoilers are up in this bitch.
So, I was more than excited to see this film. I was squirming in my seat, threatening to pee my pants in front of everyone excited to see this film. I loved the editing of the trailer, I still think it is one of the best previews I have ever seen. Now to preface this review one should know that we arrived late and were forced to sit on the second row of an IMAX 3D movie….so it was an experience all in itself for all the wrong reasons.
The film itself was filmed on location and utilizing sets. Despite the epic plot gaps (which I will get into later) it was such a spectacle to view. Ridley Scott took a terrestrial landscape and transforms it into something extraterrestrial, something terrifying. I loved the juxtaposition between the sterile, harsh landscape of the ship and the organic presence of the planet. To the viewer, the ship was more foreign than the alien landscape.
Something to be noted on a personal level for me is that, I am deathly afraid of giant squids. Really. I am. They scare the shit out of me. They always have- my mom remembers little me freaking out about the squids in the pool when I was on swim team. That being said…the giant face hugger thing scared the shit out of me. It was like a cross between a giant squid and a starfish and it preyed on EVERY FEAR I’VE EVER HAD.
I was left frustrated at the lack of explanation. I understand that obviously we are on the same train of thought as the scientists but I still found the major plot holes concerning. I still unclear as to why David poisoned that one scientist and why that substance had that particular effect on humans? Why was David so willing to help Elizabeth near the end but so weird about everything with her alien baby? My understanding was that the engineer at the beginning was on earth and was a martyr to create the human race. David’s motivation for positing the scientist was to create yet another martyr to in turn create another race? Maybe? The only thing that came from that was a weird combination of Megamind and the Elephant Man. Also the birth/c section scene is could be incredibly triggering for some people and was WAY more explicit than I wanted/expected it to be.
I would be excited to see a sequel if that is something Ridley Scott goes with- I would hope that he would use that as an opportunity to explicitly answer some of the questions left by Prometheus. Also I would hope that he would go deeper into the human origin. At the end of the day I liked Prometheus because I wanted to like Prometheus. In a normal world I would have let the plot holes bother me and headless Michael Fassbender but I had built up so much of a hype in my head that I just went all out fan girl on that shit. It should have been better, and part of me is disappointed…but the other part of me knows that Prometheus was fucking awesome despite its flaws.
I apologize for the informal nature of this review. My bad.
This post has all kinds of spoilers. Fair warning.
What a movie. I honestly had no idea what I was getting into, which I think is the best way to go into a film. I absolutely adore John C. Riley in more dramatic roles so that is what initially drew me to the film. I went into viewing this film very casually thinking that I would just watch it while I was working on a creative writing piece before I went to bed. Obviously I did not end up getting any writing done and barely slept after I finished the movie. I was so very engrossed in the film while I was watching it, I still have a hard time explaining how I really feel about it. After the film was over I felt the same way I do after watching an Aronofsky films, shell shocked and used. I always get so upset after I watch Aronofsky film because he really fucks with your head and sucks you in so deeply into the story telling. Lynne Ramsey has that same kind of psychological command shared by filmmakers like Aronofsky and Kubrick and it is obviously one of her strengths.
We Need to Talk About Kevin has a non linear structure surprisingly lends it self well to the story telling. I am not partial to non linear structure as I feel that most times it can prove more distracting than informative. In this case it reaffirmed what was being communicated. Going from a scene of Kevin as a troubled toddler interacting with Eva to dynamics between adolescent Kevin and his disengaged mother shows the ever present nature vs nurture testament without explicitly telling the audience. This structure allowed the audience to make their own conclusions. I really enjoyed the treatment of Celia’s “accident”. By never addressing the “accident” it is left to the audience to infer that given his history, Kevin was most likely to blame for his sister’s blindness. It was so painful to see the juxtaposition of Eva and Franklin’s young exciting relationship followed by Eva attempting to tame shrieking infant Kevin. Another interesting use of Juxtaposition was the use of the soundtrack. I am still trying to make sense of the significance of the specific song choices but it was clear the juxtaposition of the upbeat score to the painfully dark images being presented.
Oh my god whoever thought it would be a good idea to cast Ezra Miller as Tilda Swinton’s son deserves an award. It was so believable that he was Swinton’s son, I was blown away. Miller was exceptionally exceptionally brilliant in his portrayal of the sociopathic teenager. I was pretty apprehensive about Miller as I had seen a few interviews with him and he really rubbed me the wrong way. He came off as condescending and pompous which I was not too sure about. That being said: there is no denying the sheer attractiveness of Ezra Miller….but I digress. I was really baffled at the dynamic and chemistry throughout the ensemble. I was not disappointed my John C. Riley by any stretch of the imagination. What I loved about his portrayal of Franklin was his affection for Kevin. When Eva would bring up her concerns about Kevin, Franklin reacted in the way that most parents do- turning a blind eye. In the scope of the narrative, “Oh he is just being a boy” was one of the most poignant lines in the film.
There is one shot that stays burned in my memory. When Eva returns to her home to find Franklin and Celia dead in the yard.
God. That scene. The wide shot of the two bodies alone, wet, abandoned in the yard. I think that thing that makes that shot so disturbing is that the sprinkler is going. That life went on after Kevin killed them. I don’t think I will forget that scene, it was so fucked up, so disturbing and yet so brilliant. At the core, We Need to Talk about Kevin is a horror movie. The horrors of the human mind and what it is capable of. The horrors of parenthood and at the core of parenthood, the horrors of human nature. Lynne Ramsey is a master filmmaker and I am still left in a state of shock when I think about this film. Images from this film will stay with me forever. Another film critic on twitter put it best: We need to Talk about Kevin aka Never have Children: The Motion Picture.