Never Let Me Go

Posted 12 years ago by myetvmedia


When it premiered at Tiff last September, director Mark Romanek’s new film “Never Let Me Go” was on my ‘must-see’ list of films. The list was lengthy and I had to wait until now to catch it.  The wait was long, the impression it left, everlasting.

“Never Let Me Go” has been adapted for the screen by Alex Garland (The Beach) and is based on the haunting novel by Kazuo Ishiguro (The Remains of the Day). Carey Mulligan (An Education) does a superlative job along with Andrew Garfield (The Social Network) and Kiera Knightley (Atonement, Pirates of the Caribbean).

Produced by one of my favorite Scots, Andrew MacDonald, (Trainspotting, The Beach, Last King of Scotland) and his partner Allon Reich, (Four Feathers) this is high-class, top of the line British drama.

Kathy, Ruth and Tommy are three of the children of Hailsham, an unusual, progressive boarding school ran by Miss Emily (Charlotte Rampling).  We are soon to understand these are no ordinary children. They have no last names as they all have been created in a laboratory, their sole purpose in life to become organ donors.  In Ishiguro’s world, these well-bread lab rats live only for the good of society. When they reach their twenties, they will compliantly meet their fate, donating ‘one organ at a time prime body parts’, until they complete their cycle and the last vital organ is taken away.

This is a gruesome premise, no doubt about it. Yet, the filmmakers succeed in every way to masterfully weave this allegoric tale of unrequited love, friendship, devotion, hope and resignation into a poignant, heart-wrenching story.

Kathy (Mulligan) is powerful as the narrator of the story. She has opted to become a “carer”, one to accompany donors through their ordeal before she, too, has to surrender to her life-mission, so others can live.

Mark Romanek’s (One Hour Photo) visual interpretation of bygone 70’s Britain is stunning. His direction of actors is superb, one of exquisite restraint. Striking images will stay with you, as in a scene near the end of the film where pieces of torn white cloth stuck on barbed wire fence, flutter in the wind, like souls. Mulligan looks on reminding us life is short and cruel especially when it prematurely robs you of loved ones.

Some may find this film too depressing, and it is, undoubtedly so. But if you enjoy a good cry as most of us do, you’ll find it hauntingly beautiful.  This is why I encourage you with all my heart to see it.

Daniaile Jarry

Never Let Me Go HD Trailer

Never Let Me Go

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