Never Let Me Go

Never Let Me Go


Carey Mulligan (An Education), Keira Knightley (Atonement) and Andrew Garfield (The Social Network) star in this sci-fi drama, an adaptation of the highly acclaimed Kazuo Ishiguro novel.... More

Ruth, Kathy and Tommy spend their childhood at a seemingly idyllic English boarding school - this is a world and time that feel familiar, but is not like anything we know. As they grow into young adults, they find themselves coming to terms with the love they feel for each other, while preparing for the haunting reality that awaits them.Hide

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Flicks Review

Whilst it nods to speculative literary sci-fi such as 1984 and A Handmaid’s Tale, Mark Romanek’s autumnal Kazuo Ishiguro adaptation has more in common with Atonement and The Go Between – elegies for an England about to be steamrollered, unknowingly, into oblivion.... More

Set in an alternative present where disease has been mysteriously eradicated, it follows Mulligan, Garfield and Knightley, three residents of a special 'preparatory' school, as their friendships bloom and wither through the years. Like WWII soldiers on the frontline, they await their preordained fates in ignorance, and the film thrums with the shell-shocked austerity of that era. "Maybe none of us really understand what we live through…" concludes Mulligan, whose astonishingly assured performance seems to draw on centuries lived out in the cold.

Lack of awareness is the key here; the protagonists’ sad little lives pivoting on misunderstandings, immature assessments of the not-so-brave new world around them, and things left unsaid. As they move from childhood straight to decrepitude, much of the drama happens at arm’s length, and the grim realities of their lab-rat existences are couched in euphemisms where, for example, death becomes "completion" and hospices "recovery centres". It's a hymn to mute incomprehension, a paean to chances missed, but so all-consuming is the characters’ emptiness it begins to deflate the entire enterprise, and the art-cinema averse will begrudge the lack of emotional release. Though sensitively assembled by talented professionals, this is a film that wants to cry, but can’t remember how.Hide

The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 9 ratings, 10 reviews
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BY Coreena lister

nicely done, very sad

BY CWright wannabe

This movie was well made and looked beautiful, costumes and minimal make up were amazing but I felt the story was a bit lost..
You could say it was artsy and touchy and goes deep into the human condition but I personally thought they began storylines that ended nowhere and I got annoyed at the characters complete acceptance to their fate.
I suspect the book would be a better option as you would have more time to connect with the characters.
I wasn't bored but not as good as expected.

BY BrionyJae superstar

I just got back from watching this film, and feel appropriately stunned... the whole atmosphere - music, setting, all of it - added perfectly to the inevitable and slightly desperate feeling that ran through the whole 103mins. I adored the main characters, and their own struggles that were focused upon, despite the question that was always looming in the background - wasn't it all pointless anyway? Gives you a lot to think about, and the way that the film ended? Perfect. Will still haunt my... More thoughts for a while.Hide

In a world where cloning boomed in the 1960s, Never Let Me Go prefers to keep its sci-fi setting in the distance (which may turn some off), opting to hold close the relationship between three replicants: Kathy, Tommy and Ruth. Through this trio, the film sends a direct challenge towards our conceptions of love, humanity, being alive and what it means to have lived a life. It guides you through with tenderness, though never holding your hand. It delivers its message with patience, though it... More never drags. It may not always hit the heart, but it always clips the arteries.Hide

BY clararar superstar

I watched this on a long-haul flight a few months ago (not sure why the cinematic release in NZ was delayed for so long) with no knowledge at all about the plot, so was quite surprised by how it all played out.

Overall, a well-cast and beautifully shot film that made me root for Carey Mulligan's character all the way, though Keira Knightly did a good job at the end to give some insight into her rather unsympathetic character. However, at the end couldn't help but feel that something was... More missing, and the way all the characters just accepted their situation was rather bizarre and impossible to relate to from the real world's perspective - I know they wanted to keep some mystique or didn't want it to turn into The Island, but there were quite a few things I'd wished they'd explained.

Would recommend this if you were looking for something slow paced and bittersweet - or if you were a fan of any of the main actors.Hide

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The Press Reviews

71% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • This is a good movie, from a masterful novel. Full Review

  • A beautifully realised adaptation of a profoundly affecting novel. Intelligent sci-fi provides the backdrop, while in the foreground is a trio of truly impressive performances from Mulligan, Knightley and Garfield. Full Review

  • This intensely English adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro's novel is too tasteful to be scary and too contrived to be tragic WARNING: Contains spoilers Full Review

  • Expertly acted, impeccably photographed, intelligently written, even intermittently touching, the film is also too parched and ponderous to connect with a large audience. Full Review

  • Suffused in desolate sadness, Never Let Me Go is a disquieting journey through the bleak midwinter of the human soul. Full Review

  • Alas, what's missing is the spark of life, the jolt of the unexpected - something beyond tears - to puncture the falseness of a film world, which, by its insistence on its own beauty, obscures the tragedy that the three characters, by their nature, cannot express. Full Review

  • Never Let Me Go is that rare find, a fragile little four-leaf clover of a movie that's emotionally devastating, yet all too easily trampled by cynics. Full Review

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