Saturday, June 16, 2012

Keeping Up With the Katchadourians

Imagine if the themes of Albert Camus' The Stranger were smuggled into a story about troublesome motherhood. But more importantly, the story of just how damaging the effects of neglect can have on a child.

What Lionel Shriver gives us (& what Lynne Ramsey is able to pull off adaptation wise) is a villian with the type of remorselesness that is reserved for the types of villians from a Cormac McCarthy novel. Yet he isn't in a world of crumbling morality set in the desert plains. He's in a spacious house. With squiggly square pictures that cover up Eva's room. A lawn in which the sprinklers are all lined up perfectly and are activated with succinct synchronicity. All of this being backdrop for the grim observer. Keeping his mother, sister and father in the crosshairs of his fury.

The grubby fingerprints of Alex DeLarge are discernable in the creation of Kevin.  But what is even more present is Kevin's claw marks on Eva's psyche. The consequences that butterfly out of Eva's decisions leaves broken crayons on the kitchen table and traces of red paint in her hair. As we watch her ambivalence over the birth of Kevin turn into a story of coming to terms with the creation of a monster.


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