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Never Let Me Go
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Never Let Me Go More at IMDbPro »

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34 out of 61 people found the following review useful:

Just hated it

Author: ematerso from new england
25 October 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Gave this a two for acting and atmosphere. Atmosphere was unrelentingly bleak and dreary but at least it was consistent. This is an unbelievable plot. We are asked to believe that it is o.k. with the 60M or so citizens of Britain to sacrifice the lives of some thousands of young people who have been raised with the specific purpose of being "donors" for the medical needs that can be filled by the donors. . . that is corneas, lungs, livers, etc. It does not say how victims of melanoma or breast cancer or testicular cancer etc. are to be transplanted! We know only that the children (very pleasantly, comfortably and guardedly raised in at least one case, an elegant boarding school) are the product of some kind of engineering as they refer to their "originals" from whom they have somehow been reproduced. The word "clone" is never used but we are led to believe that may be the source. Further the young adults these children become reason that their "originals" are the dregs of society. Now an interesting question is. . . down the road should one of these "originals" need a transplant, would they be eligible?

Rumors abound about ways to prolong the lives of some of the donors, but alas they all prove to be false as by looking at the children's art work; it is verifible that these children do not have "souls", I guess which lends some legitimacy to using them for body parts. . . and further having no delays in doing so. Some people wonder why the children did not just run away. I would ask why they just did not commit suicide in a way that their bodies would not be found for several days. That might cause such a scary society to question the morality of what they are doing.

The most positive message I can read into this abysmal film is that perhaps it could create in some thoughtful minds a comparison to abortion. That is the denial of the humanity for one type of life force for the convenience of others.

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9 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Humanity's darkest hour

Author: myc4971
3 January 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

If you would ask me how I would sum up the movie: it's an essay about the dark side of humanity with a love story in it. The love story is the perfect enabler to driving the main point of the movie. And it was done so perfectly, heartbreaking and poetic.

I won't spoil how you must experience the movie so I won't get into details but I think you ought to see this movie and just forget the negative reviews you've heard about it. Without question, it's one of the best and perhaps one of the most underrated films of 2010. Casting is just excellent (it's just eerie how the young Kathy just resembles Carey Mulligan), each shot is just like a painted vivid memory, the screenplay adaptation was outstanding, direction was on point up to the tiniest detail and the musical score just haunts me. But the best part of the movie was the performances of Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield, Sally Hawkins and Charlotte Rampling. The best performance in the movie, however, I'd say was from Andrew Garfield. After seeing The Social Network, I was actually excited to see more great things from him and this movie just proved the fact that he is the real deal. Two scenes stands out to me: one scene is where he reunites with one of the character and gives her a long lingering embrace that just sent me to the brink of tears and the haunting scream towards the end of the movie.

In an age where convenience has been a key commodity, the relevance of the movie's message couldn't be more timely. How much of our humanity are we willing to give up just to get a few more years in our lives? The movie and the book is spot on in portraying man's natural instinct --- we will let go even our compassion for the sake of survival. This story just speaks about the deepest end of humanity and should cling on to your memory for the years to come.

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41 out of 76 people found the following review useful:

Don't waste your time

Author: Eleni from Greece
20 January 2011

I had great expectations for this one. The trailer was interesting and the cast is excellent (if you've seen Mulligan in "An Education" and Garfield in "The Social Network" you know what I mean). Well, the movie is a disaster. The story is not properly developed. The pace is awfully slow, you keep waiting for something to happen but it never does. The dialogue is ridiculous. The love story doesn't get to you. You don't feel for the characters, even though they're really trying to get you down with the rain, the dark colors and the violin music... Overall it's just plain boring. It takes itself too seriously and it ends up blubbering. Don't waste your time on this one. I watched the whole thing and I can tell you, no, it doesn't get any better.

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47 out of 88 people found the following review useful:

Don't worry about a spoiler alert, you really won't care what happens

Author: rocarroll-972-785645 from United States
8 February 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

If you read some of the reviews posted, you will think that this movie is the greatest artistic masterpiece since the Mona Lisa. Fact of the matter is that it is terrible. Don't worry if you think "I didn't get it" because there is nothing to get except some much needed sleep if you suffer from insomnia.

The characters are cloned to be organ donors yet there is not a single question as to the morality of the premise, not a question from the characters about whether this is right or wrong and they walk around with a mentality of, "I'm going to die and that's just fine." Yet they somehow are all looking for a way to get out of dying. They have cars, they have freedom and they don't run? There is no confrontation with any of the powers that be and other than a couple screams and a few tear drops on the cheek you wouldn't even know they had a pulse. Didn't know cadavers could still donate organs.

Now the movie tries to be deep and artistic and points to the fact that if you can prove you love, or if you can prove that you have artistic capabilities then you must have a soul. If you have a soul then you would be worth saving. Apparently the people who run the project that creates people in order to have them murdered for their kidneys have plenty of soul that is worthy of life.

This movie is successful in donating itself in order to make all other movies seem full of life compared to it.

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Unique, Beautiful and Profound...

Author: sunshine_3476 from Canada
7 June 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This was a beautiful, yet sad story. It is the kind of film that leaves one questioning life and humanity. After watching the movie, I felt amazed and thoughtful. An appreciation about life could come out of watching "Never Let me go". Life is short, and it is a gift that should not be taken for granted. The characters life was planned out for them, but the short moments and small things were appreciated, especially the short romance between Kathy and Tommy. I felt especially drawn to Kathy's character. Although she had a calm and quiet personality, her strength was felt throughout the movie. Overall, very heavy, serious and melancholic movie, but also very beautiful story in it's own unique way. I would highly recommend this movie, you won't be disappointed.

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

One of a kind

Author: itamarscomix from Israel
19 May 2012

I'd rather say as little as possible about Never Let Me Go, because I really benefited from watching it with no prior knowledge of the plot. I never read the book - if you have, you're spoiled in advance - but otherwise, you're better off just thinking it's little more than a British coming-of-age drama taking place at a slightly odd boarding school... then be taken off guard when it turns into something else entirely. A lot like the protagonists, who remain in the dark for the majority of the film.

What I am willing to say, though, is that it's a very unusual film, and one of the most depressing ones I've ever seen. It's incredibly effective emotionally, a lot of it due to a superb performance by Carey Mulligan, who's shaping up to be one of the most talented young actresses of of her generation. Keira Knightley and Andrew Garfield are less impressive but they both deliver. Despite some flaws the film suffers from - most notably, a slightly fragmented feeling that probably derives with too many segments of the book being cut - it's unique and shocking enough, and powerful enough on the emotional level, to be considered a must-see - especially for lovers of real speculative fiction, which doesn't delve into full-blown sci-fi or horror. Films like that are hard to come by.

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12 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

What does it mean to be human?

Author: hsasani from USA
16 October 2010

What makes us human is not our names. It is not who our parents are. It is not even that we are ever born naturally or cloned in a lab. It is the depth of our feelings that makes us human, be it envy, jealousy, or love. It is what we feel, how deep we feel, and how we express our feelings; through art, our relationships, sex, or any human behavior. We appear on this earth for a very short while, shine for a very short while with bright light, and then go back to the vast nothingness we came from. Accepting our fate, living with what we came with, and seeing the core of humanity within every human being we ever encounter is the meaning of life. That is all.

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35 out of 65 people found the following review useful:

Nothing to Rave About

Author: rdhess from NMB, SC
9 October 2010

Great book? Well, I doubt I will be running down to the store for a copy.

So we're coming home from a long day on the road and someone suggested a stop at the movie theatre. We pull in to a place that shows a lot of indie flix and none of us were familiar with the offerings. We reviewed the 5 boards outside noting actors we liked, directors we knew and on the toss of a coin metaphorically speaking we chose "Never Let Me Go." We are ardent movie-goers. I personally like the occasional sci-fi genre. We all have open minds and are well educated.

This film was not our cup of tea. The most interesting thing I can say about it is how we have all come back to talk about how much we disliked it. There was almost utter silence in the car on the way home. It was bizarre.

There are so many contradictions and implausible holes in the concept that taking that leap of faith that is required to buy into things like this is just not possible.

I heard a lot of hushed negativity leaving the film as if no one wanted to say how disturbed they were out loud.

I guess that it is sort of a Gattaca for a new alternative world. Without the glamour or the positive hopeful conclusion... Well not exactly. And nor do I believe in every story having a happy ending. I don't know why I was so affronted by this film. We all agreed the performances were solid. It had a lot of things going for it in terms of scenery and look. But there were just too many things that left blots on the page. In fact - I think the worst part so far is seeing how many people enjoyed it and are raving about it.

Happy Trails... I need a comedy to scrub this one from my brain.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

"Moving and existentialistic story... "

Author: Sindre Kaspersen from Norway
24 February 2012

American director Mark Romanek's third feature film which was written by British author and screenwriter Alex Garland, is an adaptation of a novel from 2005 by Japanese-British author Kazuo Ishiguro and was shot on various locations in England. It tells the story about Kathy H, Tommy D and Ruth who becomes close friends during the late 1970s while living at Hailsham, an unconventional boarding school in East Sussex, England where the teachers encourages their students to focus their attention on creating artworks rather than learning maths and science. Like most of the other students Kathy H, Tommy D and Ruth likes being at Hailsham, but when a new teacher named Miss Lucy arrives at the school and tells them that they are all clones, predetermined to become organ donors when they have reached adulthood, and that they will die after having given away all of their organs, it alters their prospects. Following this shocking revelation, Miss Lucy is released from her position as if nothing has happened and while life at Hailsham goes back to normal, Kathy and Tommy D grows closer to one another. Their strong connection is immediately noticed by Ruth who interferes and seduces her best friend's first love.

Narrated through the protagonist's voice-over and with an efficient narrative structure, this fictional, utopian and profoundly humane tale about three individuals who are confronted with their mortality at a very young age and learns that their faith has already been prearranged for them, draws a moving and existentialistic story which examines themes such as coming-of-age, friendship, identity, love and mortality. This finely paced, character-driven and dialog-driven British-American co-production which contains some notable production design by Mark Digby, is compassionately written by Alex Garland and acutely and subtly directed by Mark Romanek.

This romantic and involving independent film has a poignant atmosphere which is reinforced by English composer Rachel Porter's memorable score and cinematographer Adam Kimmel's prominent cinematography and is driven by the heartfelt and compelling acting performances by Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield, Keira Knightly, the young English actor Charlie Rowe and the young English actresses Izzy Meikle-Small and Ella Purnell in their debut feature film roles. A truly gripping and mindful internal drama with universal themes which gained, among other awards, the award for Best Actress Carey Mulligan at the 13th BIFA Awards in 2010 and the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor Andrew Garfield at the 37th Saturn Awards in 2011.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Thought provoking film, not for everybody

Author: Imdbidia from Australia
27 August 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Never let me Go is the adaptation of the eponymous book by Kazuo Ishiguro. It is an odd science-fiction piece that happens in our past but portrays events that could be positively real in our near future. It follows the lives of a group of three friends from their school days in the English Boarding School of Hailsham to their mid twenties. It is a wonderful sad love story, and a reflection on the nature of love and the meaning of life.

The movie poses very many dilemmas and interesting philosophical questions: 1/ Is it valid and ethical to create human beings with the specific purpose of saving other people? If so, wouldn't be fair to value the donor's lives by having sub-donors to save them? 2/ Who decides which lives are first class and second class, and on which grounds? 3/ Does the fact that somebody created me in a tube or cloned me, give him/her the right to decide my destiny and my future or the status of my soul? 4/ Is it life more valuable and fulfilling if you have the feeling that you are going to life for a long time, even if you don't, or if you know that your time on earth is short and live it to the fullest? 5/ If we all have to die, sooner or later, why do we need to extend our lives artificially? 6/ Will that make you happier and fulfill you beyond the obvious of saving your life? 6/Can a sick person be mentally and spiritually fulfilled and happy and and a healthy one not? There are so many questions posed in this movie, in such a understated way, that thought-provoking has a meaning here.

Carey Mulligan is truly terrific as Kathy as well as Izzy Meikle-Small as Young Kathy, and the are the very soul of the movie. Kiera Knightly always plays her characters in autopilot, and it is difficult to separate a character from another as she does not seem to believe any of them. Despite being a superstar she turns out to be the weakest link among a cast of actors who really believe their roles. Garfield is good as the sweet insecure Tommy, and his child-like physique really suits his character; his performance is especially good at the end. The rest of the supporting actors are good in their performances.

The whole mood of the movie is timeless, and although the time span goes from the 1970s to the 1990s, I would say it is more the 1950s and early 1960s than anything else. The cinematography (by Adam Kimmel) is wonderful, with a beautiful use of lighting, countryside bucolic summer images and beach painterly images (like the one of the old ship docked on the sand, which poetically echoes the sad docked lives of these young trio), which contrast with the aseptic cold images of indoor hospitals and desolated landscapes. The soundtrack by Rachel Portan is exquisitely lyric and gives its mood to the movie.

Not having read the book, my main critique to the movie is the selection of Keira as Ruth, and the lack of personal background about the separate lives of the trio in their early youth, which will have helped to better understand Ruth's change of mind at the end.

This is one of those movies that you get or you don't get, mostly because the premise is very real, disturbing, awkward and lyric at the same time. To see Never Let me Go, you really have let yourself go and decide that you are going to believe that this alternative reality is possible. Moreover this is not a happy story or a romance "a la Hollywood" and it certainly won't satisfy viewers looking for mainstream silly romantic films. The movie is beautifully filmed, moving and so thought-provoking, so it is difficult to understand the low ratings it has received and its poor distribution.

The movie will make you think. And cry. Not for everybody.

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