We Need To Talk About Kevin, Greenwich Picturehouse 31 October


What follows is my reaction as someone who had read the book and indeed seen Morvern Callar, one of director Lynne Ramsay’s previous films.

Ariustotle raises the question somewhere about tragedy:  How can something that would be distressing and disgusting to witness in real life be exhilarating and ennobling on the stage.  Well here the problem was that if you’d read the book you had already been these characters and done these actions, so all that was left was a tedious repetition of what you already knew from the inside, and for me it was just boring and annoying.

There were of course many enjoyable things that had been cut:  most of Kevin’s sense of humour and in particular the diabolical letters he writes to lure his victims to the school gym for instance.  And he didn’t seem to be an  alien and distanced character in the way he did in the book–though that’s because there you see him through the eyes of his mother while here he’s on a level with the other characters you see on screen.

Lynne Ramsay perforce had less of Spain to show on screen than in Morvern Callar, and the insects were restricted to ants crawling over an abandoned jam sandwich, except that they were joined by a real live fly crawling across the Greenwich Picturehouse screen (and sometimes flying from spot to spot on it).

I would have left half-way through but willpower had somehow deserted me.

I enjoyed the music.

That's a trusting kid sister...


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