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

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19 out of 34 people found the following review useful:

Robotic organ donors bore us to tears inside nonsensical UK dystopia

2/10
Author: Turfseer from United States
2 February 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

If there is one film you should avoid like the plague in 2011, it's ' Never Let Me Go'! Based on a pretentious novel by the Japanese novelist Kazuo Ishiguro, it's a story set in a dystopian England roughly between the 70s and the 90s.

The story begins with three children, Kathy, Ruth and Tommy who attend Hailsham, a boarding school, run by an autocratic headmistress, Miss Emily, well-played by Charlotte Rampling. The children are brainwashed to accept the idea that when they grow to adulthood, they will become organ donors, in order to save terminally ill patients.

When we finally flash forward to when the three children become adults, they continue to passively accept their fate as organ donors. In this film, we're asked to accept the idea of a world where there is no free will and adults walk around like zombie-like robots, simply waiting to accept their preordained fate.

As the story unfolds, Kathy, Ruth and Tommy end up at a place called 'The Cottages'. There Kathy is turned off by the physical relationship between Ruth and Tommy. Ruth here is the antagonist, who taunts Kathy for her inability to accept her sexuality. Later, Ruth starts the organ donation process and begins to physically deteriorate. A rumor has been going around for a long time amongst the organ donor people that a couple can get a 'deferment' if they prove they're in love. Feeling guilty, Ruth gives Kathy and Tommy a contact address where they possibly can obtain a deferment since Ruth is no longer in the picture to drive a wedge between them. When they arrive at the house, they meet the old headmistress (now in a wheelchair). She tells them that the deferment was simply a myth and they can't get out of being organ donors.

On a deserted road, Kathy stops the car she's been driving and lets Tommy out; he breaks down since he realizes he can never have a relationship with Kathy. Soon enough, Tommy's organs are harvested and we fade out as Kathy awaits her turn. Unbelievably, that's all there is to this ludicrous story! The only real significant conflict is between Kathy and Ruth over their affections for Tommy. They never attempt to revolt against the 'system' which would have made the film more exciting and interesting. Instead, the principals' ongoing passivity is a big bore and the love triangle is ordinary.

While Carey Mulligan is certainly pleasing to look at it, her taste in scripts is highly questionable ('An Education' was only slightly better than 'Never Let Me Go'). The cinematography here was impressive and the soundtrack had a moody, haunting quality to it. But why do we hear the soundtrack almost continually throughout the entire movie? Could it be that the story is so inert that the director had to rely on the music underneath to suggest true emotions?

'Never Let Me Go' is perhaps one of the most 'one note' films I've seen in recent memory. Avoid this one at all costs, unless you enjoy waiting around to see your main characters have their body parts extracted without the slightest protest!

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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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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

A bleak, alternative dyspotic story

8/10
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

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

As Moving As Titanic

9/10
Author: winterslacker from United States
11 December 2011

This is a truly powerful movie almost to the point of tears. I didn't know it would be so strong and dramatic, in a good way. I didn't expect to be hit with such shock and emotion all at once. And I certainly didn't expect to love it. A lot of times we go overboard with the struggles of humanity; but we're all human; we can't fix everything. But there's always the will to survive that keeps us going. Living in a unfair world, three friends try to make the best of their lives while they still have time. You can dodge and postpone, but the end is still always there. Life is much shorter for them and there's nothing really they can do about it; but that doesn't stop them from trying anyway. Their friendship is also like a love triangle. The strong emotions displayed by all three actors was phenomenal. This is as good of a story as "Titanic" in just about every way imaginable.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Give me your blood.

9/10
Author: jjnoahjames (jjnoahjames@hotmail.com) from United States
9 March 2011

NLMG is a dramatic film about love and the future. Something in the future. That's all we really need to know. Kathy, Tommy, and Ruth all grow up together as we watch the complicacy of their lives.

Mulligan, Garfield, and Knightly all going beyond expectation here. They fit the back drop well as the story grows into a beautiful discovery about humanity.

The cinematography is excellent and so is the directing. The only flaw here is the speed of the film, but sometimes a slower pace is better, and this is a perfect example.

I have to say I wish Never was just a little bit more dynamic so I could give it a ten, but fatefully some movies just aren't 10's and they don't need to be. You won't forget the message of Never Let Me Go.

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Never Let me watch this movie again

2/10
Author: okky-1 from New Zealand
5 May 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The theme in this movie has been done before in The Island with Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson albeit The Island was more realistic, as strange as that may seem and of course in The Island the clones didn't know that they were intended to be harvested for their organs unlike the characters in this film.

Yes everyone posting positive reviews waxes lyrical about the sublime acting and imagery which you cannot deny however with a plot so full of holes it is hard to not just start screaming at the screen.

Are we really to believe that with no obvious guards, access to motor vehicles and the ability to come and go as they please the clones don't just up and leave their cottages thus avoiding their horrible fate? Give me strength. I am all for suspending belief in certain genres of movies but only where it merits this such as silly action or over the top sci-fi movies.

But no our actors believe that the only way out is to defer the inevitable by proving their love for each other and thus delaying their fate by three to four years. So no one fights, no one escapes and and everyone behaves like sheep.

I would have marked this movie about a five but marked lower to counter the crazy seven rating this film received in IMDb obviously predominantly by females who no doubt fall for the soppy story line in droves because lets face it females are suckers for this kind of dribble especially when actors can cry on cue.

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

For me it was not a good movie

3/10
Author: annaD from Romania
22 June 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

First of all I should explain myself. I do enjoy bleak and depressing novels which are well written. The same goes for movies...hey, I enjoyed "The Road" a lot. But this... this has absolutely no redeeming qualities what so ever. OK OK, I get the final point: no amount of time spent on this earth will seem like enough, regardless if you die at 20, 30 or 100. But the way it chooses to make this point is almost...stupid. This movie is filled with stupidity (I did not read the book, but I don't think it is too far away from the movie).

First the plot: medical discovery 1960, people now leave 100 years. Then we have three little kinds(the main protagonists) Ruth, Kathy and Tommy, in some English boarding school. OK. Then we find out that the boarding school is in fact an incubator for future organ donors (human body parts). They will be expected to "complete" by the age of 30. Then the love triangle: Kathy and Tommy love each other, but Ruth steals Tommy and remain together. I did not understand how that happened...did she blackmail him, did she threaten him? Because as the movie progresses you see that they really want to be together, but to me it was not obvious what was keeping them from trying.

The donor part was on one side frightening...that is why I gave this movie a 3. I sort of liked the dark and melancholic atmosphere. The acting was not awful either. But that is as far as go with compliments. I do not know why I watched the entire movie. I keep hoping I would see some blink of humanity in it (the was more humanity in "The Road" and that had cannibals in it, so come on people). There was nothing that resembled human behavior. No one had a problem with sacrificing people. It seems it was OK, because they were clones (it was never said only implied). And the donors didn't have a problem with that either. They accepted their faith as if that was the most noble thing they could do. Who behaves like that? Who?

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Good performances in a profoundly unconvincing and misleadingly advertised tale

6/10
Author: Neil Welch from United Kingdom
18 February 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It is not possible for me to make fair comment on Never Let Me Go without extensively spoilering. So, if you are keen on going to see the movie on the basis of a trailer which indicates a slightly dated and very English love triangle between two girls and a boy which follows them from boarding school to adulthood, and you don't wish to know anything else about the film beforehand, then stop reading now. Because the trailer completely misrepresents this movie.

It is not a romantic drama. It is science fiction.

Now, I don't have a problem with going to see a movie believing it's going to be one thing, and then finding out it is something completely different, as long as the movie itself works. And the problem with Never let Me Go is that it doesn't, but I don't know whether the reason lies with Kazuo Ishiguro's original novel or the adaptation. It doesn't really matter, however.

The mildly "off" flavour which comes through from the trailer is because this isn't actually the England we know. This is a parallel England of a few years ago, where it appears that nothing digital exists - everything is lower tech than we are familiar with. In this parallel word there is a breeding programme for living transplant donors, and the school at which the three protagonists meet and grow up is specifically for such donors. So, yes, there is a 3-cornered romance running through the film, but the heart of the story is what becomes of these three individuals whose fate is to be carved up to keep other people alive.

I had a big problem with this film, because I was never able to fully take on board the central dilemma as a realistic one. Are these specially bred donors people or not? This world, so very like the world I know, assumes they aren't. It is revealed at the end that the three main characters have misunderstood a key element, which is actually there to try to determine whether they have souls or not: to me it seemed self evident that they were proper, genuine people in every way which mattered, and the moral dilemma of whether or not it was right to cut them to pieces for the benefit of others was one which was so obvious that it need never have been addressed in the first place. Placed in a totalitarian regime, I could have suspended my disbelief (viz. The Island). Here, where they were allowed free rein subject to electronic ID tags, I simply could not accept that this was a realistic world in which these events could happen.

And that's a shame, because there is potential in the idea, and the performances were generally good (with Carey Mulligan standing out). Sadly, however, I have to class this as a failure.

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