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

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Haunting, unusual film that leaves you with a dour feeling and plenty of food for thought

Author: davideo-2 from United Kingdom
7 August 2011

STAR RATING: ***** Saturday Night **** Friday Night *** Friday Morning ** Sunday Night * Monday Morning

As kids, Kathy (Carey Mulligan), Tommy (Andrew Garfield) and Ruth (Keira Knightley) were raised in a seemingly idyllic English country school, with a seemingly normal future for such people. Then Tommy starts displaying behavioural problems, and they start to blossom into adulthood, displaying the expected transitional emotions for those at that stage in their life. Then the truth is laid on them...that they are not normal human beings, but clones whose destiny is to provide vital organs to patients, shortening their life span considerably. The film follows them on their journey over several decades, as they drift apart but are drawn back together again for a devastating final encounter.

The title of this (and indeed, of the obviously very popular book it is based on which, of course, I haven't read) is quite fitting, because indeed the premise certainly doesn't let you go. Some might find it rather outlandish and far fetched, but equally you could see it as an intriguing and thought provoking work, raising issues on the ethics of cloning and human morality. Conspiracy theorists in the audience might even hint that this sort of thing might really go on, and that the government conceals it and makes it seem normal like in this film. Who can really say...? The film drives it's already strange and unnerving subject matter with a deep and haunting sense of atmosphere from beginning to end, with the sound effectively drowned out for large stretches, and the use of landscapes and large open spaces used to successful effect.

Of course, the performances have to work to make the whole thing go smoothly, and thankfully all involved are on top form, Knightley displaying one of her better works as the strongest and most domineering out the group, while Samantha Morton (sorry, Mulligan) and Garfield are decent support. It's a startling, dour work that a few have found to be 'depressing' and this is a tone you could certainly notice in it and it's so over whelming it may be alienating to some, but it's a unique film that plays out in it's own distinctive way and will be memorable for being like this and raising the difficult issues it does. ****

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3 out of 4 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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3 out of 4 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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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Great performances

Author: Red_Identity from United States
23 November 2012

It's a shame that I just saw Never Let Me Go now, two years later. But better late than never, right? This is a moving, very well acted science fiction film with a lot going for it. Maybe on the downside, it does feel like it's all based on a book. I wouldn't say it's rushed, but it moves too swiftly for you not to think otherwise. But no matter, because it's intriguing from start to finish. It's rather simple, and the themes are right there for you to ponder over, but I don't say that as a criticism at all. On the contrary, the whole film is so delicately handled, it makes you deeply care about the characters in question. The biggest surprise perhaps was that the three leads were all pretty great. Mulligan is one of the best young actresses working right now, if not the best, and it still amazes me how much she can do with so little. There's no really dramatic scenes for her here, but she captivates our attention completely and her face with a single expression can touch the heart and make you feel a dozen emotions at once. A truly great actress. The biggest surprise though was Knightley, who I still don't know if I would consider a great actress. She has had some really good performances and some other failed ones, but here she's really great.

Overall, a great film, and one of the best of 2012.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

One Crazy Movie

9/10
Author: raoul_hostettler
29 August 2012

Okay ANYONE who has a Heart and feelings think twice before you want to watch this movie.

It was one crazy sad and annoying movie that makes you think about life once again.

It is based on a book but watching the actual movie is even more sad and makes you more angry then the book.

I hope that anyone who applies to donate anything of their body please be sure to make sure that that is what you want even though the kids in the novel didn't have a choice even though they did without knowing.

"The art was based on whether you had a soul and not based on the feelings towards others".

It is not a happy ending even though it could have been since the School was shut down.

As people say what you learn as a small child is the only thing you will ever know.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Brilliant Young Actors. Overlooked Film.

7/10
Author: Chris Smith (RockPortReview) from United States
3 April 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Starring three of the best young British actors working today "Never Let Me Go" is a story of doomed love and ponders deep questions about science and life itself. It is based on the best selling book by Kazou Ishiguro, who also wrote "Remains of the Day" which was turned into a movie starring Anthony Hopkins.

Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield and Keira Knightley are three seemingly average kids who grow up together in a boarding school called Hailsham. They are never able to leave the premises and live under the strict rules of Miss Emily and her staff. Something always seems just a bit off and strange about the kids of Hailsham. They wear bracelets that they have to scan in when ever they go back to their dorm rooms. Their bodies are carefully maintained and routinely checked for defects or contaminates. The arts are extremely important and every student needs to submit their work for a chance to be included in Miss Emily's Gallery. When Miss Lucy, a young compassionate teacher, tells her class who they really are and what their life's purpose is she is immediately fired. The students of Hailsham are clones raised only so they can donate they organs. They only live to their early twenties until they are required to start their donations until they "complete".

We follow Kathy (Mulligan), Tommy and Ruth (Knightly) as they grow up and a love triangle develops. Ruth is jealous of Kathy and steals Tommy away from her. As teenagers they are moved to a compound called "The Cottages" a sort of self contained town. Although they do have the opportunity to venture out on occasion they still have to were their bracelets and are heavily accounted for. Feeling lonesome and unwanted Kathy applies to be a "carer", someone who takes care of another clone as they make their donations. She is also able to put off her own donations for a little while. After almost 10 years apart the group finally gets back together and not a moment to soon. Ruth and Tommy have already made two donations and are looking pretty rough. Ruth apologizes for what she has done to her over the years. Kathy and Tommy start bonding and their love is rekindled. Their is a rumor that if two people could prove their love was true that they could defer their donations for a couple of years. It turns out to be nothing but a rumor.

"Never Let Me Go" conjures up many of the deepest questions out there about fate, the existence of the soul, the ethics of cloning and the human spirit. This is all dealt with rather lightly and mainly focuses on the love triangle, and the eventual race for Kathy and Tommy to hold on to their love and lives. If this story was put in the hands of a director like Terrence Malick, we would probably have an instant classic. Although director Mark Romanek, who usually directs music videos, does do a decent job here. The acting is superb as well as the supporting cast. Charlotte Rampling as Miss Emily is perfect. Near the end we learn from her that the purpose of their art was to show Miss Emily that they had a soul. This movie is available on DVD and Blu-ray, but I would also recommend reading the book.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A chilling dark film

8/10
Author: Sam Grant from Review.
7 March 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I have just watched this film after reading the very dark book. However, this film does not necessarily need you to have read the book, but i highly suggest it as it ties in neatly.

Anyway, back to the film. Right from the start you get a bone chilling sadness that lingers in and out throughout the film, Carey Mulligan does a brilliant job of the portrayal of Kathy right from the cottages onward, you feel very involved in her sadness towards Ruth and Tommy. The acting was moderate in some areas. Personally i though Andrew Garfield handled Tommy's character well towards the end, but struggled in earlier parts. None the less towards the end you really came to grips with his character and although you could never really enjoy the film as much as you wanted too due to a lack of depth, you at least had an idea of how things worked and the key aspect of sadness. Maybe readers of this review will agree that a lot of questions still needed answering and quite a bit of detail was left out from the book.

I thought Ruth could have be a more in depth complex character as she was in the book, and maybe time constraints had caused an issue, but that did scupper my enjoyment a bit. One thing i must note is the exceptional music throughout the piece by Rachel Portman who did an absolutely brilliant job captivating one's self throughout the film. I thought the repeating song of 'we all complete' towards the end really left you in a thoughtful mood.

Overall, a captivating and almost gripping film with sadness, a few things need tweaking to make it a great film, but overall a really enchanting film which leaves you with a dilemma as you switch off the film. A solid 8/10.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Beautiful tragedy

9/10
Author: Alexis-IMDB from France
6 March 2012

A "Beautiful tragedy", but it does not look like a tragedy. It looks like an impressionist painting with an underlying sadness, growing up slowly to an overwhelming distress. It's one of the best movie I've seen in the past years. The acting, the rhythm, the beautiful and subtle photography, the atmosphere, everything is in its place. The casting of Carey Mulligan seems obvious. She generates so much empathy that we feel deeply involved in the story. Andrew Garfield shows also the adequate level of fragility without falling into a caricature. I'm less convinced with Keira Nightley's performance. I would advise with no restraint this movie but with a little of bad conscience, because I was really devastated at the end...

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

The depressing subject matter hides such wonderful optimism

10/10
Author: perkypops from United Kingdom
23 January 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This film attempts a seemingly impossible feat which is to turn a story the lives of young people born and bred to support their "clones" with donations of their vital organs into a feast of optimism about what our lives are really about. Through some compelling performances by a young cast and able support from older hands we are cast under the spell of what love really is, through both its unconditional and conditional themes.

The screenplay is like a poem told in pictures, gentle in one verse, but more tense in the next, before allowing us to sink snugly into its deeply meaningful and optimistic revelations of what life means. It never turns sickly sweet or bitterly sour because the leading roles are too deep to allow that to happen. And there is the sumptuous warmth of the main characters to keep us from the cold snap of the underlying truth of donor breeding.

The joys of these young people have to be simple because they have nowhere else to seek alternatives. And because they are simple they absorb our inner fears about never having enough in our lives. They demonstrate that when you touch something precious it may only ever be for a moment, and no matter how long a life is it cannot ever get any better than that.

It may not be a commercial success because of this depth of thought about our depressing engagement with longevity or quantity as more important than short term quality. It is beautifully made and a wonderful piece of cinema which I, for one, will not forget.

I thank all concerned for making me feel what they wanted me to feel and for giving me a glimpse of the truly wonderful gift we are given when we visit a cinema where this film is playing.

Ten out of ten does not begin to do it justice.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

You Ought To See This Film

10/10
Author: Russ-79 from United States
18 January 2012

It is very gratifying to find a movie these days that is so well done. This movie has everything going for it, from a creative, intelligent novel, to an excellent screenplay to a sensitive director who expresses it so perfectly. The music, production design, timing and titles are meticulously done. Kudos to the creative production team and crew.

I won't say much about the plot except that it is set in what seems to be earth in a parallel universe or one possible version of contemporary society if certain scientific breakthroughs occurred in our health-care system. It is a what-if scenario but one that asks very potent questions and gives the viewer the time to consider them. It is a thinking person's movie. What health-care could become… It is paced slowly enough to give the viewer time to reflect, time for critical thought and time to use your imagination. Time to consider what choices society could make given certain medical breakthroughs… I really can't say enough about how well done this movie is and I highly recommend seeing this most engaging film.

Russ^

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