Question for those who have seen "We need to Talk About Kevin"

Status
Not open for further replies.

hex000f

Est. Contributor
#1
I'm sure a few people here have heard of the movie "We Need to Talk About Kevin". I have not watched the whole thing, nor do I have any intent to given its content. For those who haven't heard about it:
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1242460/

Feel free to look up a few reviews to get more of an idea of what happens in the film.

Basically I'm wondering if a plot like this could actually happen or if at any point it becomes too hard to believe. EG someone would say "something's wrong with this family, lets do something about it!". Since the "horror" factor for this movie is based on it being plausible.

Its obvious that Kevin's mother has some major psychological issues even with Kevin isn't old enough to walk or talk since several reviews mention her purposefully going to loud construction sites to drown out his crying, so I don't find it unrealistic that she doesn't do the right thing and seek help. If I had to choose a character to blame the events of the movie on would be her but I digress.

According to reviews his father is clueless so I can go with that, sort of.

I already dismiss the book version as being very unrealistic based on this excerpt.



Based on this, someone should have called social services by the time Kevin was 6. Since even if his teacher was really lazy or whatever and didn't think that him being in diapers was odd and worth reporting to someone, Its completely out of the question that he could coerce/threaten an entire class out of their potty training without someone doing something about it. The other students might fear him based on what I skimmed from the other paragraphs, but the parents of those students are neither stupid enough not to notice nor able to be threatened by a 6 year old.

However, that is the book version. I don't know if the movie has any of this. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong and that will be that.

Since I haven't seen the movie I don't know if Kevin's teachers are ever explicitly told by his mother that he wears diapers like in the excerpt from the book shown above.

If they are never told then my first question is, "Would it be possible that the school would never notice the diapers or any other aspect of his behavior and thus not get involved? (Given how in the movie he seems to act well around everyone but his mother)?"

I'm guessing no, but I'm not a parent nor do I work in a grade school.

My 2nd question relates to the diaper change scene https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FrTTDPgq99U (watch from 4:00 to about 5:14)

After this Kevin's mother takes him to the hospital.

My 2nd question is, "Would the hospital suspect a dysfunctional/abusive family dynamic if a 5-6 year old showed up at urgent care in the state that Kevin did, which was with a broken arm and in a (possibly messy) diaper."

My 3rd question is, "If the answer to question 2 is "yes", what would they do about it?"

I'm guessing the hospital would notice, call the police, and the rest of the movie might as well have not happened. However I don't know how these things are actually handled since I don't have the right background so I can't know for sure.

If you have your own reason for believing that the movie is unrealistic, feel free to share.
 

Andybun

Est. Contributor
#2
Currently, I'm awaiting delivery of both movie and book.
Can't comment on 1.) yet but 2.) and therefore 3.)
First off, there are kids that still wear diapers at that age, full stop. The vast majority doesn't, but some do. I neither know book nor movie yet, but it seems he got changed before she broke his arm and that he pooped it on purpose.
If I only could count all the times I sat in an emergency unit from age 5 to 12 with broken fingers, bleeding wounds on the head and suspected bone breaks they'd have had a handful to do with informing social service each time.
Well, both might be strong indices to inform social services but if the mom is just a little creative with her lies, I doubt that the docs would even take notice. Also I'm not sure where and when these childhood scenes play. As I said, in my childhood it was rather common to play outside and come home with bruises or sometimes broken bones and no one ever informed social services even if you attended the emergency unit repeatedly
 

rennecfox

Est. Contributor
#3
I'd say it's a matter of the situation of seeing something that not there because it could be read in a way. You could say a dog says "I love you" because it's howls sound like that... the same way you could say a child is trying to ruin your mairage with their behavior cause they have a bad case of the "terrible 2s" 3 years onward.
 

Andybun

Est. Contributor
#4
I've received the book but still wait for the DVD.

It turns out that Kevin was born in the USA in 1984, about 7 years my junior. I'm not quite sure about the USA of the starting 90s but over here in Germany the first major steps in child protection laws had been taken in 1990/91 but only since 2012 Doctors and other people who normally have to keep secrets, are forced by law to pass on informations about suspected child abuse.
In these 22 years there have been quite some radical changes though. For example, beating up a child had been made punishable. While this sounds loose, it is rather strict, because it punishes everything from single incidents such a slap around the face or a spank.

I'm not quite sure about the US American legislative in this regards and it might be worth to dig out referring laws and check them for their changes and/or renewals in order to make more sense of it all.
 

PCBaby

Est. Contributor
#5
I've read the book, seen the film and listened to the radio series. The book is by far the best of the three. The film changed the plot quite a bit and lost some of it's psychological edge in doing so. Could it happen in real life, just look at America for an answer to that, yes it could, very easily.

As a child I was abused by both my parents and really badly bullied at school (see the story section for my early life part 1 and 2) Would I have done what Kevin did? I certainly thought about it
 

Calico

Est. Contributor
#6
I saw the movie and it's always bothered me that everyone (including doctors) has blamed the mother. Keven was clearly a sociopath and he loved his mother and showed it in a very strange way by being his true self. He acted normal with everyone else and acted his true self with his mother. She did try to get him help but no one took her seriously. Also, if she had taken him to a psychiatrist, Kevin would have manipulated the doctor and the mother would have looked like she had Munchausen by Proxy. No way would she would have been able to give him help with Kevin's manipulation. I also saw the mother tried everything to bond with him and everyone still blames her, argh.

I notice when you have kids, everything becomes your fault but sometimes it's the child, not the parent. Some kids have mental illnesses that make them have behavior and it's out of the parent's control. Kids have their own personalities too so unless you abuse them, you can't always get them to do what you want. Notice how abused kids tend to be the most behaved kids of all? That is because they try so hard to please their abuser to get them to love them and also because they are very afraid so they wouldn't dare to test their limits and boundaries or challenge their abuser. Some abused kids even make good grades and are the best students in school. Not all abused kids have behavior and aggression. The abuser can believe they were great parents because they got their kids to behave so well. Yeah, they used beatings and torture. That gets the child to mind you all right and make them easy kids. Now they are forced to be mini adults and forced to grow up so fast and were basically not allowed to be children and it leaves them with psychological damage. So no it's not always the parent unless they abuse them to mold them into the child they want them to be and become your puppet. Either way makes you a bad parent, get it? Only parents will understand unless they ended up with easy kids.




But at the end of the movie the mother finally figures out what she had to do all along but she was too late. As a child, the more she tried to bond with him, the worse he got for her. She was just doing what any mother would do, bond with their child and try. Kevin was just the opposite. If she hadn't tried to bond with him and just ignored him, things would have been better. Also interesting he never killed her and he only killed his father and sister. Some people believe he did that just to torture her while he is locked away because she would get the blame for his actions and get the brunt of it but I think he left her alive because he loved her and that was his way of showing it. Kevin was not a normal child. But I want to pull my hair out and scream at everyone "she did try to bond with her child, she did try to get him help but no one would listen and how would she get a doctor to take her seriously if Kevin acts normal in the office? She would just look crazy for thinking he had something wrong with him and you still blame her?"
 

tiny

Distinguished Contributor
Distinguished Contributor
#7
It's a weird film. I saw an interview with the actress who plays Kevin's mother, and her interpretation was that the book/script was written from her exaggerated neurotic perspective. What we were seeing wasn't what actually happened, but a kind-of confabulated flashback where she was trying to work out "what she did wrong" in raising her son, and whether he was "born evil".

The sanguine indifference of her husband, the way Kevin "got in the way" of the matrimonial relationship, and Kevin's calculated spite towards his mother might all be the exaggerated recollections of a woman who blames herself for her emotional failure to bond with her son... and ultimately for his crime.
 

PCBaby

Est. Contributor
#8
Kevin was a socipath, no matter what the mother did he wouldn't have got better or worse. Look at what he did to his sister with the bleach. Kevin had no thought or feelings for anyone other than his own pleasure and if he could nake people suffer on the way then so much the better.
 

Calico

Est. Contributor
#9
It's a weird film. I saw an interview with the actress who plays Kevin's mother, and her interpretation was that the book/script was written from her exaggerated neurotic perspective. What we were seeing wasn't what actually happened, but a kind-of confabulated flashback where she was trying to work out "what she did wrong" in raising her son, and whether he was "born evil".

The sanguine indifference of her husband, the way Kevin "got in the way" of the matrimonial relationship, and Kevin's calculated spite towards his mother might all be the exaggerated recollections of a woman who blames herself for her emotional failure to bond with her son... and ultimately for his crime.
That is a very interesting perspective there. The actress also felt the story was told from the mother's perspective, her past memory and what we are seeing is not accurate. This is just an example here how the parent is always blamed for the child and how we don't believe the parent when they talk about themselves raising them and what the kid is like. We like to think they are exaggerating and no one wants to believe a kid can just be born evil and can be truly evil. I think think these kids out there exist. Not all of them turn into a killer of course. But yet we are totally fine with The Bad Seed and The Good Son and just accepting those kids were just evil. That is because they're both fiction so it's easier for us to just accept there are evil kids just as long as it's in fiction.
 

PCBaby

Est. Contributor
#10
and just as a point of interest about Kevin wearing nappies until age 5. I was both wetting nad soiling myself until my parents were killed and i was placed in a very good childrens home. who had me see a consultant, i had a congeinital spinal problem and after surgery whilst i was still bladder incontinent to a small degree i stopped soiling and was clean both night and day. soo the diaper wearing may or may not have been part of his mental illness. As for teachers, doctors or nurses questiong broken limbs and nappy wearing take it from me they didn't. They just believed my mother or father when they said I was retarded (Now called learning difficulties).
 

Calico

Est. Contributor
#11
I think Kevin was wearing them just to annoy his mother and once she broke his arm, he finally potty trained. I was also impressed how he lied for her and had such a good convincing story to tell about it so that showed me he must love his mother and he would always point to his broken arm as a way to blackmail her. Of course the mother felt bad she broke his arm and had great remorse for it. She just snapped. It was like she earned his respect when she broke his arm so he decided to potty train as her reward.
 

Andybun

Est. Contributor
#12
I watched the movie last night but I'm not really impressed in comparison to the book (which I'm still reading)
The first thing to remember when watching the movie is, that the mum actually writes letters to her dead ex-husband, probably in an attempt to get everything off of her.
In this regard, the movie is shit as it makes the watcher indeed believe that these are a series' of flashbacks rather than her memories and feelings written down. I know, it is tough to impossible to make a movie from such a theme and feel, it would have been better if there wasn't one.

On Kevins diapers, I'm with Calico. A few sequences further past the broken arm and hospital visit, they are back at home and while the parents are chatting downstairs Kevin uses the toilet upstairs. This makes me believe, that he messed his pants on purpose before. Also, the daughter of my cousin messed her pants up to the age of five until she finally got potty trained. She simply couldn't manage the toilet until then and I believe that 'social pressure' at her kindergarten finally lead to her potty training rather than my cousins desperate attempts to get her potty trained.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top