In 1952 a medical breakthrough has increased the human lifespan past 100 years, but possibly at an ethical cost. The source of this medical miracle centers around cloning. The plot around three children who grow into you adults who have to cope with the reality that they are clones that will ultimately be harvested for their organs. Their story of struggle and will make you question what it exactly means to be human and have a soul.
I could not have been more wrong.
First off the story is amazingly refreshing. Clones grown for body parts has been done before, but never in any way like this. Instead of forcing the moral implications of cloning a human being down our throat, like most films of this nature tend to do, it is incredibly understated. The film is broken into three distinct acts; childhood, adulthood and donation, and while time elapses the same foreboding feeling remains constant. If you are anything like me you will find yourself pondering some pretty deep meaning-of-life type questions by the time the credits role.
At its core, clones aside, Never Let Me Go is an existential emotionally driven drama that follows the lives of three individual characters. That means the quality of this film is going to fall heavily on the performances, especially the lead played by Carey Mulligan (An Education), and they deliver the goods. A decent portion of the film follows the characters as they were school children but even then the performances were superb. When we finally catch up to with the characters in adulthood that is when the film starts to take a dramatic turn. With additional acting talent like Andrew Garfield (The Social Network) and Keira Knightley you start to see how they cope with their impending doom differently.
Technically speaking Never Let Me Go is just a beautifully shot film, the landscapes are stunning and the music haunting. You will surely be moved in some way, there is no getting around that, and that makes it a great movie. Something in particular that will stick with me for a while are some of the last bits of dialog: "We all complete [die]. Maybe none of us really understand what we've lived through, or feel we've had enough time." Deep stuff.
Photo Gallery: Director Mark Romanek decided to take the time to just take on-set photos in his downtime, the results are here for your viewing pleasure.
Tommy's Art: Another gallery of pictures, this time depicting the artwork of Andrew Garfield's character in the film set to the beautiful score.
National Donor Programme & Hailsham Campaign Graphics: A collection of posters, designs and other artwork for the fake cloning company and school depicted in the film.
Fun Fact: Carey Mulligan had to learn to drive for her role as Kathy in this film. But when she failed the driving test production had to find a private road for her to drive on legally whenever the story called for it.