Sunday, February 2, 2014

Never Let Me Go (2010) [R] ****

It's England in the 1960s, a bizarre, alternate world in which a National Donor Program exists to raise human clones from birth for the sole purpose of harvesting their vital organs in a series of operations until they complete their lives, i.e. the third or fourth donor operation kills them. This incredibly dark, chillingly disturbing story follows the lives of three donor youths: Kathy (Carey Mulligan), Ruth (Keira Knightley) and Tommy (Andrew Garfield). We first meet them at Hailsham, a country boarding school, when they are ten years of age, as they begin to understand their purpose on earth, and we follow their three lives to their sad, inevitable conclusions.

Based on Kazuo Ishiguro's novel, and directed by Mark Romanek, the film features glacial pacing, muted grey costumes and set design, and a relentlessly negative tone. There is no positive ending, no life-affirming, upbeat message. The film feels very much like George Orwell's 1984, in which a totalitarian, dystopian society crushes the spirits of individuals seeking love and meaning in their hopeless lives. I cannot recommend this film and would suggest that, unless you enjoy films like Will Smith's Seven Pounds, you stay far, far away from Never Let Me Go. The fact that film critics and moviegoers alike rate this film as **** stars out of 5, while I rate it as * star, for tragic and depressing subject material, probably tells you more about me than it does about the movie-going population as a whole.

Labels: drama, romance, sci-fi, tragedy 
Internet Movie Database 
Metacritic 69/100 
RottenTomatoes Averages (critics=68, viewers=72) 

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