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Never Let Me Go

Never Let Me Go

Director: Mark Romanek
Writers: Kazuo Ishiguru (novel), Alex Garland (screenplay)
Keira Knightley, Carey Mulligan, and Andrew Garfield
Review By: Griff

I had to let this movie spin around in my head for a few days before I sat down to write this review. Based on a book of the same name by Kazuo Ishiguru, the plot revolves around a group of children Kathy, (Carey Muligan), Tommy, (Andrew Garfield), and Ruth, (Kiera Knightley) who are being raised in a private school in the English country side. The twist here is that this is an alternate reality. In this world they have figured out a way to cure most diseases, people live to be 100 or more. How did they do it? They clone people raise them in private schools, then when they are old enough, they harvest their organs slowly until they “complete”. (die)

The three main characters learn early on in the movie that they are fated to die at a young age and the meat of the movie revolves around them coming to grips with their own mortality. How would you live your life if you knew at a young age that you wouldn’t live to see 30?

It’s this premise that made the movie so interesting for me. I kept waiting for a moment like Logan’s Run or the Island where the protagonists all say, “F**ck this, let’s make a break for it.” But it never comes. At first I was disappointed and then I thought about it  and realized that is the whole point of the film. The main characters spend their time reading, watching tv, and trying to learn and love as best they can. They do the same things that we all do every day. The simple truth is we are all going to “complete” over a long enough time line. It could be tomorrow it could be 50 years from now. There is no escaping that fact and that is what the movie is trying to tell us. There where will be times of great joy, sadness, hope and loss so live, love, and learn while you can as best you can because you never know how much time you have.

The acting was great here but Carey Mulligan definitely steals the show. Even when she is rocking a strange 80’s rock band mullet she still manages to keep you enthralled in the story. Keira Knightley does a fine job but there is not a lot here for her. Andrew Garfield was also great and he a couple of excellent scenes. The part where his character and Kathy attempt to go get a “deferral” was definitely a highlight. I had a feeling throughout that scene not unlike when you see an animal trapped on the highway and trying to run through traffic. You just know things are going to end badly.

The film is shot in mostly muted earth tones. It is all greens and browns and it does a great job of adding to the atmosphere of the film. The music here is also mostly strings that add to the provocative nature of the film.

This movie is definitely not going to be for everyone. This is not a popcorn movie. This a rainy Sunday afternoon kind of a film. It is almost completely absent of joy and has found a new place in my top 5 most depressing movies list. With that said, I still enjoyed the movie. In a time where most movies that you see today have become utterly forgettable, this one sticks with you, and sometimes that’s a good thing.  2 ½ guys for me. 


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