Friday, December 31, 2010

Never Let Me Go

Today I saw Never Let Me Go, starring Carey Mulligan and Andrew Garfield.

Kathy (Mulligan) seems to be a classic goody two-shoes. She is smart, helpful and kind to her fellow students at the refined British boarding school where she lives.

Tommy (Garfield) has anger management problems. Scenes featuring him during youth would lead many to believe he was perhaps autistic due to his outbursts. This is never confirmed, but is implied.

Kathy and Tommy form a tender friendship, which leads Tommy to buy a cassette tape for Kathy. The song she listens to repeatedly is called "Never Let Me Go."

Ruth (Keira Knightly) is the prettier, less-honorable girl at school who sleeps with Tommy to keep him from realizing his love for Kathy. Pretty straightforward love triangle, right?

Not so much.

It seems that the boarding school is merely a breeding ground for beings that are born from a laboratory for no other purpose than to harvest and donate organs. When they reach a certain age, they get their 'notice' similar to a military draft, and begin surgeries to give up as many parts of their body as possible. Their obligation is "complete" only when they die.

Kathy gets lucky and becomes a "carer," which apparently buys her a few more years. In the meantime, she cares for those not so lucky, comforting them in between surgeries and signing the releases for their bodies when they don't make it.

The film is solid; the acting superb; the scenery perfect. But something about its quiet pace doesn't quite instigate the anger that we should feel for these poor, sacrificed souls.

No matter how they were created, it is clear the students share human emotions and feelings, and therefore they should be entitled to a life longer than early adulthood. This injustice should trigger a more intense response from the audience, but falls short of doing so.

That said, it was nice to watch a movie that had an original plot, mixing character studies and science fiction into the same fold.


1 comment:

Norm Gregory said...

I have tried to read the book. I have tried to watch the movie. Two times each . . . I never got past 20 minutes with each.

When Sally Hawking's character comes in and tells kids what the deal is . . . I just . . . I just didn't care.

Maybe something is wrong with me.

After reading your review here . . . I am thinking I should give it another try.