Sunday, 20 February 2011

Never Let Me Go

There are some movies that we, and by we I mean the other two thirds of The Nerdy Trio and not I, get really excited about yet the whole world doesn’t seem to care. After a persuasive trailer, two out of three members of said Trio having read the book and a group appreciation of Andrew Garfield off we set to the VIP lounge to watch Never Let Me Go.

PLOT: Set in the futuristic past where three friends Kathy (Carey Mulligan), Ruth (Keira Knightly) and Tommy (Andrew Garfield) grow up in Hailsham a very British boarding school for genetically engineered students. This is unfortunately not as cool as Xavier’s School For Gifted Children as the only gifts the students of Hailsham have to offer is their organs. These children have been created to become living organ donors. There is a love triangle. There are organ donations. There is heartbreak. END PLOT

The plot of Never Let Me Go is quite clever in a repressed British sort of way. The science behind the living organ donors is never explained and the story focuses solely on our cast of three and this makes it all the more scary.

The cast do well with the standard love triangle fare and it is watchable but I loved the idea of them being living donors more.

The fact Kathy, Tommy and Ruth knew of and fully accepted that they would have to slowly and periodically donate their vital organs until they reach “completion” and yet never question this is an unsettling thought.

Never Let Me Go does not turn into The Island - there are no attempts to escape or to avoid their fate. Kathy and Tommy do apply to defer their donations for a few years as they are in love but there is never any suggestion that they want to grow old together and appear fully prepared to donate after their deferral period ends.

There are subtle hints throughout the movie that the students of Hailsham are the last of their kind with future donors being created and kept in a more factory/conveyor belt setting with none of the educational/triangle trimmings that our fictional Trio have enjoyed. The sinister undertones were rife throughout the film, especially during the "do the donors actually have souls" scene and it was these that I engaged with although I probably should have been more emotionally invested in the characters and their forbidden love.

Never Let Me Go is a very good film based on a book which I am positive is so much better. I cannot fault the performances of Mulligan, Knightly and Garfield all of whom show that the future of British cinema has nothing to fear however the idea and plot of Never Let Me Go outshone everything. It lingered long after the love triangle has expired.

Never Let Me Go gets 8/10 and I will now blow the dust of the novel I have purchased and not yet read.

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