This blog has been created to serve as an open platform to discuss We Need to Talk about Kevin. Share your thoughts about both the book by Lionel Shriver and the upcoming film starring Tilda Swinton, in cinemas November 17. Eva Khatchadourian recounts the story of how her son, Kevin ends up committing an unimaginable act. Fearing that her own shortcomings may have shaped what her son became, she questions her role as a mother and her relationship with Kevin in particular. How much is her fault? When did it all start to go wrong? Or was it, in fact, ever ‘right’ at all?
Provocative, courageous or alarming? Considering We Need to Talk about Kevin was written by a woman (Lionel Shriver) and directed by Lynne Ramsay (pictured below on the set of We Need to Talk about Kevin) and co-produced by Tilda Swinton, how does Eva (portrayed by Swinton) fit into the current landscape of women’s characters on the big screen?
Here’s a small sample of Eva’s existence after Kevin’s horrific crime. Motherhood questioned.
Is Eva a bad mother? Is she too hard on herself, or is she not hard enough? Author Lionel Shriver, Tilda Swinton and director Lynne Ramsay share their perspectives on We Need to Talk about Kevin. If you’re not familiar with the story – there are major spoilers in these interviews, nevertheless you might find their insights that much more intriguing. These three women have strong views about this story. Do you agree with them?
Interview with Lionel Shriver
Tilda Swinton and director Lynne Ramsay interview part 1
Tilda Swinton and director Lynne Ramsay interview part 2
Tilda Swinton has always been known for taking challenging female roles. From starring in Sally Potter’s film adaptation of Virginia Wolf’s classic novel Orlando, to playing Russian aristocrat in I Am Love, to her Oscar winning role in Michael Clayton and not to mention becoming The White Witch in The Chronicles of Narnia, Tilda’s genius is evident. Now, that she’s embodied the guilt stricken Eva in We Need to Talk about Kevin – what is your take on Tilda personifying this fascinating character?
From the original novel, to film adaptation and now posters, We Need to Talk about Kevin is being constantly reinterpreted across multiple mediums and cultures. This fascinating story gains a new meaning in every country it appears. What are your thoughts on the posters below and how they represent this story?
Eva’s husband, Franklin, always looks on the bright side of parenthood, and interprets Kevin’s action in the most favorable light possible. Do you find this eagerness to give his own child a break sympathetic? Or is he an ignorant parent?
Was Kevin born wicked, or was his cold heart the inevitable consequence of an unaffectionate mother? Do you think the answer to this classic ‘nature versus nurture’ debate—whether character is formed by environment or is innate—has to be one or the other?
Check out this article by Cambridge University Professor Simon Baron-Cohen who discusses Kevin’s case and his lack of empathy for others. What is your take on this issue?