Never Let Me Go, starring Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield, and Keira Knightley tells the story of 3 youths with a “specific” purpose that discover the importance of keeping one’s loved ones close each and every day. The tagline, as quoted on www.imdb.com from Fox Searchlight Pictures, is: “As children, Ruth, Kathy, and Tommy spend their childhood at a seemingly idyllic English boarding school. As they grow into young adults, they find that they have to come to terms with the strength of the love they feel for each other, while preparing themselves for the haunting reality that awaits them.” Here is the trailer, in case you haven’t seen it.
This film, based on the novel of the same name written by Kazuo Ishiguro, tells the story from the viewpoint of Kathy H. (Mulligan), and the opening sets the tone for the entire film. Mysterious, Questions unanswered, Involving story, Emotion-binding performances, Controversial subject matters, and more! Be prepared (not necessarily in a bad way). This film has been sparking a lot of conversation and debate since its release. While some aspects, I hope, make more sense in the book itself –(Some elements ended up rushed/unexplained…partly on purpose, as I am told the book does not explain some things as well. The story is told from the viewpoint of Kathy and therefore focuses on all things most important to her and her life.) –and while the premise of this story remains quite a controversially debated subject, I enjoyed this film. Here’s a quick look at why:
1) Cast and Characters: The three main characters in this film really draw you into the story in such a fashion that one feels the need to HAVE to finish the movie. The casting in this movie is perfect in the fact that the cast does not take away from the film, but instead, adds to the power of the story being told. (Yes, even Keira Knightley is decent in this film I must admit). I was most impressed, however, by Carey Mulligan and Andrew Garfield. Mulligan (Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps), who also acted with Knightley in 2005’s Pride&Prejudice; and Garfield (The Social Network), who is currently filming his role as Peter Parker/Spiderman in the new Spiderman reboot film, both gave heart-wrenching performances that are both realistic and award-worthy! The way in which the cast conveys the emotion of every scene touches, often, the very soul of the viewer.
2) Cinematography: Beautifully shot in England, Director Mark Romanek allows the mood of the movie to continue even when no one is speaking. The shots of scenery, architecture, people’s faces, and more all share a part in telling the story silently. This film is beautifully shot and dramatically paints a portrait of the feelings, lessons, and sadness of the stories of the characters. When you watch this film, you will be completely transported to the place and time of the events and be enveloped by their world. Impressive way of showing the world around them without allowing it to distract. Everything shot, and how it was shot, contributed to the story’s outcome.
Speaking of the story…..
3) Captivating story telling: This romantic drama/slightly scifi movie, laced with traces of politically and ethically charged issues along with questions on the meaning of being human keeps the attention of the audience throughout its entirety. From the path of discovering love, companionship, and humanity to the acceptance of trials and unwanted -yet inevitable- outcomes, the tale and its development remain a mystery that grasps a hold of the wandering attention of most and keep it through to the end. I’m still captivated in thought over questions and ideas of mine own and the emotional bind that the story ties together with the viewer.
Some viewers may object to this film for reasons of ethics, some sensuality/sexuality, the power of persuasion used, Kiera Knightley, or assumed boredom. You will either enjoy this film, or not. For some reviewers to state that Never Let Me Go is “pretty much The Island without all of the action” is a gross understatement and tribute to the work of the actors, cast, writer, and director. While the subject matter may be similar, there is so much more to this film than what was in The Island. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed The Island (as a matter of fact, I am part of the minority when it comes to my opinion of The Island.), but Never Let Me Go tells an even greater story. It shares the importance of hanging on to those that are in your life for as long as you can, while presenting an underlying debate questioning what it truly means to be human and who gets to judge. There are so many different interesting elements in this film. Some moments will leave you in awe, some will leave you sad, mad, glad, inquisitive, or just indifferent. I applaud those involved in this project for conveying this story in such a powerful manner. This story, as the characters themselves, just doesn’t seem to want to let go.
Thanks for reading!
Enjoy if you wish…or don’t enjoy! Happy Watching!
–TheSp1der’s Score: 4 out of 5 stars for “Never Let Me Go”
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