Questioning Motherhood’s Ideal Expectations: We Need to Talk About Kevin

Author: Andra Crǎciun
Titu Maiorescu University, Bucharest, Romania

Cinematography is a form of art expression which can bring valuable understanding regarding not only the human nature and natural, common states along with their diversity but it is also an efficient mean of stretching portraits which lead us to a rather indirect but quite complete understanding of psychopathology. Wedding, Boyd & Niemiec (2005) are some of the adepts of teaching psychopathology by recommending pertinent works of cinema for such field. The authors do not analyze movies demonstrations of symptomatology but see them from the point of view of the groups of people directly involved in the discussed issues, groups which usually are considered minorities and are being treated by society through the lenses of prejudice and misconceptions.

A similar idea is also supported by Fleming, Piedmont & Hiam (1990) who view films related to psychopathology as adequate means of re-evaluating one's perceptions related to people suffering from mental illness.

"We Need to Talk about Kevin" (2011, directed by Lynne Ramsay) does not necessarily raise the question of what the character's possible diagnosis might be; the emerging questions and issues go even far deeper than labeling and prediction. The storyline and evolution of the characters might make the viewer feel like he's missing something from the big picture even if signs of the final outcome are more or less subtly strained along the way. The movie is based on 2003's bestselling novel with the same title, written by Lionel Shiver.

Keywords: film psychology