So I heard from a reliable source (I think it was 5 Live) that this was going to be a good'un. I confess, I wasn't listening entirely in full to the review, but it somehow entered my subconscious that it was going to be a bit of a psychological thriller and as we settled in the cinema, my friend turned to me and told me he'd brought tissues as it was going to be a "tear jerker"-I thought to myself 'really?' and doubted my subconscious.
I think it was approximately 30 seconds into the film that I figured I had been right in the first place. It WAS a psychological thriller. A week later and I still find the content and ideas that go with it provoking my thoughts whilst I daydream on poolside. (Full time Lifeguard peeps, O yes.) All the obligatory necessaries were there that come with a thriller; the long silences, long suspensions and all round ambiguity. This ambiguity of the script, actions and story line that is left to the mind of the audience is executed perfectly. Nothing more or less was needed to be said or done in order to portray the story, the sociological or psychological impacts.
The entire cast was outstanding. The young boys who played Kevin did so very well. I don't know how any 7 year old child could play a hated character so well. Tilda Swindon was just brilliant. Everything from her features to ability to hold the screen up by herself (and lets face it, she did hog a lot of it).
As an adaption, produced by BBC films, from a book (having not yet read the book), I think it held a different problem to other adaptions. There wasn't too much to be crammed in, but almost too little. The pace and lack of action allowed for room which leaves your mind free to wander and suss out the ending/plot and impacts of Kevin's actions for yourself. Be patient. Allow it to take over you and let your mind presume the rest.