Friday, October 15, 2010

Never Let Me Go: Movie Review

An interesting, high-quality film that crosses over into most genres.

"Never Let Me Go" is an interesting, haunting and affecting story of love and jealousy. The story that we see occurring on the surface is fairly commonplace of friends growing up together and falling in love. But the backdrop of this film, which eventually takes over the main story, is science fiction like. It's dark and tragic and thought-provoking. 2010

Directed by: Mark Romanek

Screenplay by: Alex Garland
Based on the novel by Kazuo Ishiguro

Starring: Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightley and Andrew Garfield

The time and place is 1980s England and it looks very similar to the real world. But this is not the real world. The dystopic aspect is clearly touched upon at the beginning, but it most definitely gets worse.

Let’s start at that time when life should be an adventure that you can’t wait to experience and in your childhood fervor you pick your friends to accompany you on that future adventure. Here I am describing a reality that should exist in this film, but doesn’t, because everything is just slightly off.

Kathy, Tommy and Ruth (Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield and Keira Knightley as the older version of the trio and Isobel Meikle-Small, Charlie Rowe and Ella Purnell as the younger version) start life at a prim-and-proper boarding school. They bond together, share puppy love, and if only they could embrace the innocence of a childhood, but that innocence is lost.

It can be difficult to fully realize all the characterizations for characters in a world that is this far-removed from the real world, but this is a fascinating story. Dark and tragic to be sure, but it also had my interest piqued.

The film was incredibly well shot, making dreary England look spectacular but still getting the feeling of damp and cold across.

The film works so well because as much as it is science fiction, those are not the themes it plays up. The innocence and loss of innocence of childhood, how to reflect on a life lived, how to give meaning to those lives, and how lies and rumours told to children can shape their lives, and how bonds formed in the face of tragic confusion can shape the rest of your life.

I recommend "Never Let Me Go" because of the high quality of filmmaking. The science fiction elements are rather subtle so it's more for fans of romantic dramas, but it's an interesting enough film that it can cross into most genres. .
Best of 2010


An Education (2009) - Coming-of-age drama with a real story.

Conviction (2010) - Brotherly love with striking shots of nature.