34. Never Let Me Go (2010)

Reality of life found in sad imaginations

Directed by: Mark Romanek
Written by: Alex Garland, based on the novel by Kazuo Ishiguro
Starring: Keira Knightley, Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield

No greater reality - ordering food at a restaurant

When three friends, Ruth, Kathy and Tommy, find themselves in the real world as adults – having come from a rather mysteriously closed boarding school called Hailsham – they are forced to come to terms with love, loss and death at too young an age. This is due to the fact that they are laboratory-created Donors, who are solely alive for the growth of their vital organs, which are to be ultimately taken and given to humans.

Never Let Me Go is a sad but beautifully illustrated story that handles the value of human life in a delicate and surprisingly provocative manner. As though told from the perspective of a child, Never Let Me Go is observative when it comes to detail and closely reads every gesture and presence with a consuming desire to better understand and appreciate the relationships between these Donors who, like any human being, relishes new experiences in life and greater independence as they grow older. But as Ruth, Kathy and Tommy know that their lives are going to be cut awfully short, every temporary sensation and experience they absorb in their lifespan are magnified to a degree that moves us to take another look at the beauty of simply living.

This effect of the film could not have been possible without the incredibly tender vision of director Mark Romanek. With performances that leave resonating impressions, the cast of Never Let Me Go perfectly balance their roles with a quiet gentleness that works in favour of the greater, more dramatic moments that speak louder than words on a script.

With a strong conceptual narrative, Never Let Me Go is elevated by the performative and aesthetic qualities of a highly talented ensemble.


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