Eva Khatchadourian(Tilda Swinton) dreams of Tomatina festival. She wakes up from dream in her shabby house which is in disarray with the remains of food, alcohol and sleeping pills from the previous night. After dressing up to go out in the morning, she finds red paint thrown on the outside walls of her house and also on her car. She hastily cleans up her car and attends a job interview at a local travel agency.
Eva is happy to be selected for the job. While walking back to her with a smile, she is interrupted by a lady who speaks harshly at her and also slaps her. She feels sad but flees the scene without complaining. Later at the supermarket, she hides another lady. Minutes later at the checkout counter, she is surprised to find all the eggs in her shopping bag is deliberately broken.
Later at home, Eva reminisces her past with her husband Franklin(John C. Reilly) and her son Kevin(Ezra Miller). Eva and Franklin were successful. But what happened to Eva that makes her live a of solitude now? Why does she have to start her life all over again? This forms the rest of the story.
Lynne Ramsey directs this movie based on the novel of the same name by Lionel Shriver. The movie deals with a mother who tries to rebuild her life after a tragedy. So the movie moves from the present to the past using a series of flashback which helps in keeping the viewer glued to the seat in anticipation. Even though the viewer has guessed the imminent tragedy well ahead in advance, the brilliant use of flashbacks and the minimal background music along excellent performances from the lead actors make this movie an interesting watch.The director's success also lies in finding the right actors to play Kevin at two stages(pre-teens and teens) and also extracting a convincing (and disturbing) performance from them.
Eva is safe in the hands of Tilda Swinton. Tilda's Eva has various phases. First she is a carefree woman who gets pregnant expectantly. Then she devotes her time in raising her first child with difficulty and at times unable to control her anger. Then she worries about her son as he grows up unable to understand him and also failing in communicating her fears to her husband. At the same time, she tries to fight the guilt of almost neglecting her first child in the formative years. Erza Miller as Kevin in teens and Jasper Newell as Kevin in pre-teens are excellent. Both of them have to give similar performance. Kevin is a chameleon behaving rudely to his mother while displaying a different face to his father.
Must watch. Be warned there are disturbing scenes not suitable for kids.