Never Let Me Go
Excel Home Entertainment
Another movie version of a novel. This time it's British author Kazuo Ishiguro's dystopic novel Never Let Me Go brought to screen life by Mark Romanek. The story starts in a school for 'special children' where three kids, Kathy H, Tommy and Ruth form a tight-knit friendship. A teacher arrives at the school, notices something gravely odd about the place and the way the children are being brought up - they are, for instance, forbidden to step outside the fence, where, they are told that they will be killed by outsiders. Isobel Meikle-Small plays young Kathy H with a tenderness that is moving and that heightens the eerieness around her. She develops a romantic bond with the boy (Charlie Rowe), who is later 'stolen' by Kathy's best friend Ruth (Ella Purnell).
We shift from the 70s, where we discover the 'special purpose' of the children, to the 80s, in which the trio stay together in a 'half-way house' in the English countryside and then scatter apart. By this time, we have firmly settled down to empathise with Carey Mulligan (An Education) who plays the grown-up Kathy H with a classical poise that balances the ruckus dark force that is Keira Knightley playing a grown-up Ruth, and caught in between, Andrew Garfield. (The Social Network) as an older Tommy.
Without giving the story away, the film is about friendship, betrayal and death. More the film itself, the quality of the performance by the actors is what holds Never Let Me Go together, even as the movie itself, despite its speculative/science fictional theme, comes across as too lush and too sterile as a whole for comfort. A one-watch wonder.