Never Let Me Go (2010)

Director: Mark Romanek
Writer: Mark Romanek & Alex Garland
Based on: “Never Let Me Go”: By Kazuo Ishiguro
Starring: Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightley, Andrew Garfield
Year: 2010
Country: UK
MPAA Rating: R
Time: 103 minutes
Genre: Sci-Fi, Drama, Romance
USA Release: 9/15/2010
On DVD (USA): 2/1/2011


We all have probably thought about living forever at one point or another, some desperately would like for this to be capable of happening, others know it never will. Within that thought you probably have thought about clones, and how they could make that happen. In “Never Let Me Go” they touch on the possibility of sort of living forever by the help of clones expanding our life expectancy to over 100 years old for the average person. But in this film, we see what it is to be a clone, while others I guess you could say normal humans think they are disposable, we see that they are every bit at human as we are, they have feelings and are capable of love. “Never Let Me Go” is based on the 2005 novel of the same name by Kazuo Ishiguro, and stars Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightley and Andrew Garfield. This film takes place over the course of about 15 years and is broken up into three parts, throughout the three parts we are seeing through the eye of Kathy (Carey Mulligan) as she looks back on her life and the pieces that help form it. We go back to the late 1970’s where we see Hailsham, a school for clones although the word clones is never used they are just called “special”. There we see young Kathy (Isobel Meikle-Small), Tommy (Charlie Rowe) and Ruth (Ella Purnell) going to school and experiencing everything that comes along with it, including friends, playing sports, etc. To the students of Hailsham although they are told they are special, they don’t exactly know why, just that they need to take care of themselves. They learn a lot of the same things we do, History, Biology, English, but what they also learn is role playing for when they leave and go into the real world. They need to learn that because up until they leave the school they never really have contact with anything and anyone outside the ground of Hailsham. When they leave Hailsham they go to a group housing facility if you will, for Kathy (now played by Carey Mulligan) Tommy (Andrew Garfield) and Ruth (Keira Knightley) they go to what is called “The Cottages” during this time it gives them a chance to see what the outside world is about before they start their donations (by this time they know what they are and about there donations). Although Kathy is not at The Cottages long, she sees what it’s like to almost be free to do what you want and to live. Like anyone drama starts to evades the lives of all three of them, and soon Kathy decides to leave and become a carer. During the last part of the film we see Kathy as a carer in the early 1990‘s, although she has lost touch with her old friends, everything seem to be ok at the moment. Until she comes across Ruth at a hospital, and they begin to talk about the old days, and Ruth has a confession.

Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightley & Andrew Garfield in “Never Let Me Go”

There were many things I was impressed with, first off the story is simply beautiful, a well done adaptation by Alex Garland and what put it together is the cinematography done by Adam Kimmel, there were so many beautiful locations that where chosen. What also put this together was the score done by Rachel Portman, she has done many great films and this is another to add to the list, she just has a way with the flow and power in these pieces it heightens a lot of the scenes.  Another high point was the directing, done by Mark Romanek, who has a remarkable eye for scenery making the story really come to life, the way he shot the silent landscape is just breathtaking. Of course you can’t forget the actors, all of whom did an excellent job. I was very impressed with the three young actors playing the young versions of the leads, the fit very well with the transition into the adult leads.

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About Amanda L. Barnhart

I'm a avid film lover. I love collecting Blu-rays/DVDs, as well as movie posters. Along with doing that I'm an amateur film critic (having starting my site/blog in 2010). I'm also a photographer. I try to keep my site up-to-date with the newest reviews. (To Find Out More Click The "About Me" Button) So definitely subscribe if your interested, and don't be afraid to leave your thoughts in the comment box but please keep it nice & clean, Thanks!

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4 Comments on “Never Let Me Go (2010)”

  1. jeremy w. Says:

    I really liked the original so I have been interested in seeing this one. great review


  2. rtm Says:

    Nice review, Amanda. I was a bit more um, enigmatic in my review as I don’t know if people want to know about who these characters are or prefer to find that out as they’re watching the film. I’m impressed w/ the performance of Carey and Andrew and the film is quite haunting that left me pondering about it for days.


    • Awesome Barnhart Says:

      Yeah, this is one (of many) that I plan to rewrite, if you look to my earlier reviews you see I was still trying to figure out what I want to say. For whatever reason I focused more on the summary and less on my analyse I’m proud that I was starting to attempt writing reviews, but I’m also disappointed at how bad they are, I just hope my review have grown from this. It wasn’t until about March/April of this year that I started figuring out my style, so anything before that is pretty much crap in my book, so I have a great many re-write to do.

      I too was very impressed with everyone’s performances, it really is a quite haunting. I really enjoyed Rachel Portman’s score on top of it all. Thanks for reading and commenting 😀

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