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

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9 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Humanity's darkest hour

9/10
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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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Unique, Beautiful and Profound...

10/10
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

9/10
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?

10/10
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

1/10
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... "

8/10
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

9/10
Author: Imdbidia from Planet Earth
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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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Gave me a reason to increase my medication costs

1/10
Author: agunes10 from California, USA
23 November 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I've been diagnosed with major chronic depression and currently being treated in a private hospital. I've picked this movie to watch within my "time-passer", a time slot allocated to each patient in the ward to get a relief and come to our senses and the feelings of the life. I well came to my senses after watching this movie...

Though otherwise gloomy, the movie at the beginning intrigued me with well portrayed grizzly fields, a school as big as our clinic(where people are bred to donate their organs), impeccable portrayal of rules and ordinance... I could see the deepness of the movie that was about to reveal. Well ordered milk bottles, only to be drunk by innocent sheep to be slaughtered later, great performances of actors that open doors to inner sense of their well being... These scenes cured me better than Prozac and xanax, well momentarily.

Later the scenes faded away and been replaced by the ones where people get in lines to get cut and only smile back at their fates. No reason to defy or take the control of their lives, they are willing to cut into pieces and given to their originals to replace their defective parts. My clinic therapist suggested that these scenes might have also reversed my therapy progress and I should be writing down all of my thoughts about this movie to get rid of it for the good.

Though I can see and understand the dark and dejected atmosphere of certain lives in certain places (the infamous writer of the original book is from Japan), this movie could easily grasp the last breath of life you've left and blow it away to eternity. The kids whose facial gestures only change from mild sad to utter sad grow into worse characters who only momentarily smile to cry thereafter with dreariness.

Although it may help some people to see the "profoundness" of the work done by the director, this movie only helped me increasing my medication costs. Unfortunately I can't get a refund of what I've lost but, oh well, only thing you see in this movie is loss anyway. Ironically the movie is testing whether the kids had souls (not that it mattered to story line anyway), it may as well rape and steal yours.

So please stray away from this movie unless you want to get a taste of Prozac and boredom. Utter disappointment.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

WORST I've ever watched

1/10
Author: John Predrag from Serbia
7 April 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

And I didn't even make it 'till the end. This review contains just a minor spoiler so everybody know what to expect.

Plot of this movie is about people that are bred to be organ donors. Plot is totally unrealistic because people that are donors are not resisting at all. They are like cattle waiting peacefully for slaughter. From early age they know they will be organ donors and their organs will be taken one by one, as long as they live their short life.

In the movie, this kind of a society is introduced as peaceful, normal and ethically approved.

Now if you can imagine a peaceful society, where people are willing to be separated piece by piece, to be organ donors, against their will, and not resist at all, you might like this movie.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

A hauntingly beautiful film.

8/10
Author: lcylu from United Kingdom
7 August 2012

It was so sad and moving. A beautiful, beautiful film about loss and hope and finally acceptance (although I don't know how they could). Carey's Kathy has strength of character but she shows her loss so well when her love is taken away from her. Andrew Garfield is so lovely when he portrays pain and loss, it just makes your heart melt. His is by far the best part in the film.

A number of people have called Never Let Me Go dull and depressing but, while it is a slow film (no bangs or robots her boys) it builds a truly haunting atmosphere that will stay with you for ever(ish) after. Its not depressing its wonderfully sad in that melancholic way that makes you sigh and think deep thoughts about truth, love and chocolate. And lets face it, we all enjoy a little cry from time to time especially when its over something thats 'safe'.

Watch it now and then watch it again! Lucy

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