As children, Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy spend their childhood at an idyllic and secluded English boarding school. As they grow into adults, they must come to terms with the complexity and strength of their love for one another while also preparing for the haunting reality awaiting them.
Never Let Me Go is a 2010 British dystopian literature film based on Kazuo Ishiguro's novel, Never Let Me Go - written in 2005. The film was directed by Mark Romanek. There are three main protagonists, Kathy H (played by Carey Mulligan), Ruth C (played by Keira Knightley), and Tommy D (played Andrew Garfield). The story follows the trio throughout their short, confusing lives - starting at their strict boarding school, Hailsham, to the Cottages, and to their inevitable "completion" after donations.
When the time is right - around mid twenties - every student begins donations, where there organs are removed and unwilling given away for the wealthy's use. Donations occur until "completion", where the life of the donator is complete.
In the film of Never Let Me Go, I felt that the time spent showing Hailsham was cut short. Readers of the novel can attest to the fact that Hailsham is where an extensive amount of character development takes place. Hailsham is where Cathy, Ruth, and Tommy show signs of being independent people with their own goals and dreams. It is also the place where the bonds between the three protagonists rise and fall over the course of several pages, showing readers the dynamics between each of the characters. Contrastingly, the growth of characters in the film relies on quickly displaying scenes that highlight the major events that impact the dynamic of trio's relationship. While watching the film, I felt that viewers were rushed through and only shown glimpses of Hailsham - which in turn left me unable to connect to the characters of the film the way I did to the characters of the text.
An aspect of the film that was unique to the text was the incorporation of daily pills that students must take and the numbered wristband that kept track of the characters in the text. These helped allow for viewers to conceptualize the hold that Hailsham and the bigger overall system had on the students and their behavior. The addition of the elements added to the dystopia effect.
Overall, I feel that the film did a pretty good job of bringing the text Never Let Me Go to life, but fell short in a couple of areas. I believe the selection of actors for roles was handled well, and that setting of the film was excellent. I only wish that more time was spent showing Hailsham, but I'm sure time restraints had a role in the equation.If I had to rate this movie from 1 through 10, 1 being absolutely a piece of garbage and 10 being the best film I've ever seen, I would give it an 8.5.
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This movie is beautiful, powerful, and leaves you feeling empty and full at the same time. It is slow like other have said, but that's because of the focus it puts into its character development and atmosphere it creatures for the movie to stand on in the end. If you have the time and don't need lots of flair and explosions to enjoy your movie, watch it. But don't just watch it, pay attention, let it speak to you and then you won't feel it was a waste of time.
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It's "The Island" for girls.
A disturbing, thought-provoking and brilliant film, exploring the meaning of life. Without explosions.
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Questions I kept asking myself while watching this film:If the children are cloned and raised to be organ donors only, why do they go to a seemingly normal boarding school? It seemed they had more or less similar classes like any child would in a school. For what?After leaving school, what people who don't become "carers" do to live? Do they work, or does the state provide for them? What do they do?Why don't they not even think about changing their fates? Especially because they didn't seem to be brainwashed too much in the boarding school.Why is it Ruth's fault that Kathy and Tommy couldn't be together? Why would a guy choose to be with someone, and stay with someone for years, who he doesn't love, especially when the girl he loves is obviously head over heals in love with him right from the beginning?How can someone feel for so so so passive characters, who do not seem to have a will or the capability to think or act, and just go with the flow ALL THE TIME?One thing in the script which I think was a poor decision:The filmmakers decided to make the new teacher character TELL the children (and us, audience) about their terrible fate, while in class. In my opinion this decision killed the suspense, it was such an anticlimax. I expected a very engaging movie, but it felt slow and dull at many times unfortunately. But still would like to read the novel, I think its probably better.