Kevin deserved it

Posted by Guy Pringle, 1st November 2011

One of the reading groups went to see We Need to Talk About Kevin last week and although it wasn't as gripping as the book, we were certainly stunned when we left the cinema. Tilda Swinton isn't my favourite actress but there's no denying that she makes the part of Eva hers in a way you can't imagine anyone else doing. And, of course, the casting of Kevin is miraculous with three progressively older boys bringing Kevin to scary 'real life'.


One thing that didn't strike me when I read the book, though, was that Kevin deserved what he got. Turning the last few pages it was the brillliantly revealed horror of what he'd done, all of it planned down to the last detail, that gripped. And that prison moment when she asks him why? and he replies he used to think he knew but now he's not so sure - that felt like the point of the book. Then it felt like closure - of a kind. Now - and maybe it's the cinematic treatment that's done this - my overriding feeling was, you misjudged it big boy. All the time you had the upper hand but you never thought anyone might ever get it over you. Why? The confidence of youth? Mebbe so but without wanting to get into the nature vs nurture debate (that way madness lies) I can't help thinking, Kevin, you blew it - and you deserve everything you get.

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