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Never Let Me Go More at IMDbPro »

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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 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

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

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.

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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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

A bleak, alternative dyspotic story

Author: freemantle_uk from United Kingdom
24 June 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In an alternative version of England they has been a medical breakthrough back in 1952 where scientists are able to cure most diseases and people are able to live to 100. But a cost is a new underclass of people has developed, breed for a dark destiny. Three of these people are Kathy H (Carey Mulligan), Tommy D (Andrew Garfield) and Ruth (Keira Knightley) who grow up together in a strange boarding school, Hailsham and a love triangle between the three starts to bloom and causes tensions between the three before they face their donations.

The adaptation of Never Let Me Go sets out a very bleak society, where people are institutionalised into a system where they are breed to die. Even the prospect of a deferral would only offers people a respite from their fate, it did not stop what happens and nor do the character even attempt an escape because they accept what will happen to them. This is a more realistic view on this type of sci-fi scenario and this dyspotia shows a world that there is no need of controls to keep the clones. A complex world was created where people bury there heads in the sand, they know what is happening and pretend not to see it. The clones are dehumanised, they are not given surnames and they used in the system in a constant cycle of comfort. Normal people try to pretend the clones are none people but they are human, they feel, they love and it is a film that also has a theme of nature versus nurture.

This film also have damning look at a dark version of the medical establishment, that they are willing to save people by taking the life of another and how they are willing to accept this system. This is an issue of medical ethics and general one where are what point are we willing to accept suffering of a group if it meant a better life for the majority. Should the pain of one person be tradable for the pain other another. There is lot of moral issues to consider with this film. I am sure that the Bristol Heart Scandal and other medical scandals were used as influences for the final third of the film.

There is a great cast and director who worked on this film. Mulligan and Garfield are both very talented actors who were believable in their roles. You felt for both their situation and relationship in the backdrop of world. Knightley played a colder, harsher character but she does well in her role. The three child actors who played the younger versions of main characters were all very talented as well and played very complex roles of being children who have a very strange upbringing. One of the big themes is that the characters only have each others, they do not even know where they come from and have the realisation they are modelled on the undesirables of society and not knowing where they come from.

Never Let Me Go uses a traditional three act, set in three different times of the character's lives. Mark Romanek brings a deliberately cold style of direction which was fitting to the sad situation that this film tells. He brings nice little touches throughout, from the period setting, the run down look of The Cottages, the old toys the children are given, the way ordinary people avoid contact with the clones and how the clones act when they are finally introduced into the real world. For a film that is rated 12A there is a surprising amount of nudity and sex.

There are plenty of dyspotic fiction created in British in film and literature. The adaptation of Never Let Me Go is not the best but it is still very good film, telling a bleak story and a setting out a harsh world for a underclass. It needed the strength of the director, the writers and the actors to make this film work.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

A Heartbreaking But Rewarding Experience

Author: richardgglloyd from United Kingdom
2 January 2012

I watched this film in the cinema at the beginning of last year. I have recently watched it again now it's out on DVD.

Whilst the main 'science fiction' premise is a bit tricky to get your head round (it traces the lives of 3 young people from 70's to 90's living in an alternate reality following a 'breakthough' in medical science that cured all illnesses) the film uses this as a vehicle to pour on layers of emotional content that is sadly missing from many of today's films.

However, the real heart of the film are the scenes involving Kathy 'H' and Tommy 'D' (palyed by Carey Mullligan and Andrew Garfield.) The acting is top drawer and brings with it moments of real beauty and heartache in equal measure.

In fact the quality of the cast at times makes this a bit of a tough film to watch, but ultimately rewarding. But if you want to see a challenging film with heartfelt emotion as opposed to a load of giant robots destroying earth, give this a go.

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