I haven't read the book, but those who have and have also seen the film tell me that there is much more to the story than is presented in the film. I didn't like it; simply for the fact that neither of his parents stood up to him and allowed him to get away with more and more bad behaviour. I wanted to smack both of them across their faces and tell them to wake up to themselves. We need to be responsible, not just for our actions, but also for our inacations, which is what leads to the tragic end of this story.
I'm going to file this with all those films that I never want to see again, despite its artistry -- and it does have eye-popping art direction, bizarre sound design, creepy acting from Tilda Swinton, and a jumbled narrative that teases your brain for a while. But Lynne Ramsay's film is all about DREAD, yes, tension, grimness, and dread. It is a cold as death (but red-splattered) look at one mother's horror -- and I don't think I can bear it again. Recent real world events (or should I say recurrent events) only increase the terror, the pity, and the dread.
This is a seriously good movie about the burden of motherhood. I watched it without having read the best-selling book first, and it sucked me right in from the opening scene. You'll probably figure out the main gist of the story well before the halfway point, but by then it hardly matters because there are other issues to resolve. Tilda Swinton is painfully good as the tragic mother, and so are the actors who play her young son Kevin at different ages, but the story also gains considerable momentum from some sly editing.
Interesting movie ... great quality bluray transfer
This is a great movie - although a bitdisturbing. It's quite disjointed but that only reflects the torment of Eva. I had previously tried to read the book, but found it hard going and only got half way. Therefore I found the film far easier to absorb. It was an extremely interesting story with some very sad and shocking moments. A real study of the human psyche. I would rate at 4.5.