THE KID (x)
“My name is Kevin. I was born in South London. It was March 93, a Wednesday, and I decided to kill myself.”
The Kid begins with a voice-over of Kevin Lewis (Rupert Friend), as he is dumped out of the back of a van. Kevin is badly beaten about the face, and makes his way into (what was his childhood room) in an old, abandoned house. He drinks from a bottle of alcohol and proceeds to empty numerous pill bottles into his mouth.
The movie flashbacks to 1980 when Kevin is a small boy in his room, drawing on the wall. He sits on his lumpy mattress that is on the bare floor. He lives in a filthy house with his equally filthy parents (Gloria and Dennis), as well as multiple siblings. (Kevin’s mother is brilliantly portrayed by Natascha McElhone, an absolute beauty transformed into an ugly, bitter, and hateful woman.)
The picture painted of Kevin’s childhood is far from pretty. He is kept locked in his room, drawing on his wall, when he is not being beaten by his parents, dragged to the bar by his alcoholic father, or bullied at school. One particular beating Kevin suffers at the hands of his mother elicits the attention of a school nurse, who alerts social services.
Kevin is removed and put into foster care, where his difficulties as an abused child make a proper home placement a real challenge. Kevin’s social worker contacts David (Bernard Hill), a man who runs a children’s home of sorts. David reviews Kevin’s file and offers some insight.
David: “I don’t think Kevin is behaving badly because he’s out of control. I just don’t think anyone’s bothered to tell him how to behave in any other way…This young man has known nothing but hate and violence.”
Kevin flourishes under the care of the staff and learns to control and better express his anger in a healthy manner. The staff throw Kevin a surprise birthday party, and he is genuinely happy. However, the happiness is short-lived. Kevin receives a new social worker who concludes that Kevin should return home. Kevin is crushed and runs away, but David quickly finds him. The scene of the children waving goodbye as Kevin is driven away from the only people who have shown him true love made me want to cry. Of course, nothing changes once Kevin returns home. The abuse continues.
This is such a wonderful movie! Rupert steals my heart again with his amazing performance.