Archive for the ‘Psychological Thriller’ Category

We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011)

March 5, 2012

[rating:3]

There is a profound sadness throughout “We Need to Talk About Kevin”. The plot is minimal, and to explain that is irrelevant because the film is constructed in a fragmented way that focuses on the subjective psychological reality instead of the logical factual reality. But to boil it down, the film is essentially about the struggle between Eva (Tilda Swinton) and her son Kevin (Ezra Miller), who is seemingly born with an absolute hatred to his mother. Kevin seems to embody something we call the pure Evil. This all comes to a tragedy on the level of the Greek mythology and a resolution that is both chilling and intimate.

Tilda Swinton is the engine of the movie with her tour de force performance. She plays a woman escaping from responsibility all her life. Her reality slowly deteriorates, driving her to desperation and madness. The real surprise here is Ezra Miller playing Kevin, a truly evil kid. He is not the usual angry kid from high school. He is one evil bastard in the league of Hannibal Lecteur. Slowly, the story unfolds, and we get to know both sides of the story. You come to understand why Kevin embarks the mass killing and sympathize with him – that is if you have endured everything he has done prior to that.

Freud said that a man who has been his mother’s darling grows up with a triumphant feeling that associates with success. It doesn’t work with Eva and Kevin. Somewhere in-between is the father (John C. Reilly), who busies himself upbringing his family in a yuppy fashion. Somehow our world gives the family the means to function, blinding the necessity to right the wrong. Kevin is basically just born to the wrong family at the wrong time, leaving broken souls that seek vengeance and redemption.

Kevin is never being talked to beyond the day-to-day business throughout the entire movie. They need to talk to Kevin, not just about him.

We Need to Talk About Kevin” is an outstanding British gem directed by Lynne Ramsay, starring Tilda Swinton, John C. Reilly and the superb Ezra Millera.

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)

August 20, 2011

This is a truly horrifying and strangest movie experience set in a claustrophobic Hollywood mansion in the tradition of the german expressionism.

Once a famous child star, Baby Jane Hudson (Bette Davis) never goes beyond a second rate actress, overshadowed by her sister Blanche Hudson (Joan Crawford) who has become a bigger star that she aspires. Blanche is crippled in a mysterious car crash allegedly orchestrated by Jane. Reclusive and bound to a small room, Blanche depends on the increasingly insane Jane on her breakfast, lunch and din-din.

It’s hard to mention this film without citing the real life quarrels between Bette and Joan which fuel the on screen hatred between the two characters, but it is Bette’s performance as Jane that makes this film instantly unforgettable. Jane applies pile of make-up on her aging and ugly face, dresses like she is still 10 years old, and buries herself in the world of fantasy and booze.

As things pile up, she becomes more violent to her sister, shutting the paralyzed Blanche from the outside world, serving her meals of contents I wish not reveal here, dreaming of a come back as she practices her old act as the Baby Jane Hudson. David Lynch has not yet created something quite like the scene as Jane dances and sings in the aging mansion.

The film is escalated from a melodrama to a true psychological thriller and ultimately the tragedy of Baby Jane when the secret is revealed near the end. Blanche is seen here as the helpless good hearted sister that we identify with all along, but she is as guilty as Jane herself in the road of greed, regret and hatred. Ended with the only redemption of two cones of strawberry ice-cream.

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane is directed by Robert Aldrich, based on the novel written by Henry Farrell,