The film We Need to Talk about Kevin opens with vibrant images of what looks to be bright red jelly being thrown around in a festival on the street. There is a woman smiling, laughing, happy to be there and be free. This woman is Eva Khatchadourian, the mother of the film’s namesake, Kevin, and depicts a vastly different contrast to the rest of the film, as we follow the story of Kevin and his likely mental illness through the eyes of Eva. There may be brief light moments of happiness in the rest of the film, but never again like the happiness Eva experienced before Kevin’s birth, as raising him proves to be a challenge from day one.
The movie centers around Eva as she struggles to deal with the aftermath of her son’s murders, the story of Kevin being told intermittingly as she tries to go about her life. The mother’s guilt is apparent as she is slapped by a dead student’s mother in the street, for when a man tries to intervene, she just says it’s alright, it’s my fault. She takes the guilt on by herself as her new, small and shabby home is repeatedly vandalized with buckets of red paint being thrown all over it and her car. Even at the new job she manages to find, she is treated as a pariah, as if it were her fault her son did those things. As you can see, mental disorders can cause quite a lot of hardship, not just for those suffering from them, but the people around them. Of the mental disorders, personality disorders are the hardest to treat, as they are ingrained in a person’s way of thinking and living life. It is likely Eva’s son, Kevin, has a conduct disorder and is well on his way to developing antisocial personality disorder, and perhaps even being a psychopath, resulting in Eva’s subsequent depression.
The DSM-IV classifies the criteria for antisocial personality disorder as “failure to conform to social norms…, impulsivity…, deceitfulness…, [and] lack of remorse” (American). It is clear that in We Need to Talk About Kevin the son has these issues and more, the only exception being that he is not eighteen yet, the minimal age of the disorder to meet the criteria. This leads me to believe Kevin has severe conduct disorder until the end of the film, where he finally crosses the boundary and kills, becoming an antisocial type.
The evident symptoms in this film I found were Kevin’s lack of emotions, not crying when breaking his arm, destroying things and seeming to take pleasure in other’s pain, cursing from a very young age, terrorizing his sister, apathy, not being effected by temperature, neat and orderly, lack of empathy, harming animals, harming his sister, and finally, murder.
Conduct disorder is a juvenile form of antisocial personality disorder. It is said that in many cases, hostile or aggressive as well as deceitful behaviors may first appear during childhood, and the child may abuse animals or people, engage in hostile acts, have a reckless disregard for property such as setting fires, and engage in deceit, theft, and other...