The Heartbreaking Journey of "Never Let Me Go"


2/5/2012
*This Review may contain spoilers, and is gluten free*

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.