Eva Khatchadourian is a wife and mother of two.  Or she was.  When tragedy struck her family’s suburb, Eva understandably takes the blow hard.  She eats, she sleeps, she works.  But the other suburbanites hate her, her house and car are vandalized, and she no longer has any family to lean on.  Eva frequently turns to her memories as she tries to understand the history of her family and the events that led to her new life.

We Need to Talk About Kevin is a moody, creepy film, told in bits and pieces of flashbacks and the present.  Eva is brooding and somewhat stupefied, just starting to come out of her emotional shock; Kevin is equally complex, but flawed in some way, and our lack of understanding gives him an exaggerated menace that contributes to the movie’s drama.  Eva’s neighbors are unfortunate caricatures of suburbanites, people who will blame another victim rather than the actual perpetrator.  The viewer is confounded by these characters, for they act as if Eva is actually a criminal who has escaped justice, though it becomes clear early on that this is not the case.  While the storyline is issue-oriented, the real issue to consider is not the surface tragedy, but the more subtle, small events that led to it.  We Need to Talk About Kevin is a disturbing and sobering movie whose open-ended conclusion doesn’t give its audience many answers.  It is well worth a watch, but it may be best to chase it with a brief discussion and a light-hearted sitcom.

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