Mark Romanek's Never Let Me Go opens with a scene of a woman staring at a man on an operating table. She stares at him through a glass wall and he stares back at her, a tear streaming down his cheek. It is moments like these that work so well in Never Let Me Go, a dystopian science fiction drama that is both tender and frightening all at once. Romanek's haunting imagery combined with some great acting really make this film work as a great adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro's still greater book of the same title.
Without saying too much, Never Let Me Go is a story about what it truly means to be humans. That does not mean that there are aliens involved, but there are other science fiction elements that are subtly blended with complex emotions. The story revolves around Ruth, Tommy, and Kathy, three children growing up at a school called Hailsham. Hailsham is bizarre in many ways, but the children simply take it as it is. The children eventually learn a nasty secret about themselves from a teacher, Miss Lucy. Ruth (Keira Knightley), Tommy (Andrew Garfield), and Kathy's (Carey Mulligan) lives change forever as they suddenly learn to live their lives differently. As they grow up together, they experience the feeling in life, sadness, and love in unexpected ways.
Never Let Me Go is sad, depressing, and interesting in many ways. If any movie could make you sad for hours, it would be this one, so be prepared, and bring some tissues. The purpose of their life is to give other people to live longer. They were meant to be 'sacrifice' for others. They live, when they are 'ripe' enough their life being ripe off. They never get the chance to make their own life decision, as when they are born they were already know when they gonna holding their last breath. They try to live like others, but they can't as they a not born to be other person. The love that blooms secretly between Kathy and Tommy was left aside as they already knew their not gonna be able to go on for the life together forever. It is sad and depressing. Plus the present of their best friend, Ruth to take away Kathy's chance to be with Tommy afraid that she's gonna be the one who left alone.
The cinematography fulfills the book's sense of depression through images of repetition. One especially beautiful shot is the closing one in which two pieces of cloth lie tethered, almost trapped, on a barbed wire fence blowing in the wind. The film's beauty lies in its color palette, which leaves out all primary colors. The scenery of English old building reflected the emotion of the sadness, hope, frustration, love and envy between these three main cast.
The acting from all three main actors is excellent. Carey Mulligan shines again here, although her performance is probably better in An Education and in the Wall Street, Money Never Sleep. Andrew Garfield, a fairly new actor, does well as Tommy, playing his character with all the strange mannerisms but he still quite good as in The Social Network. Keira Knightley also is quite good as the conniving Ruth. The irony of choosing these two actresses where Kathy has blonde hair and she looks very humble, down to earth, patient and keeping-to-herself type while Kiera with a long black hair, reflect the arrogant, selfish, and envy personality. For me, Kiera and Carey did a good job acting with their eyes.
The pacing of the movie was its biggest problem. The middle of the movie inches along a bit too slowly. I am not sure about the book, but it somehow meeting my expectation slowly. The slow pace give me more time to digest the whole situation, get into each character deeper. It may been nicer if its goes a little bit pacey, but it has been cover with great cinematography and still images.
As Never Let Me Go shows, coming into a person's life can be even harder than letting go.