Sunday, 15 January 2012

Film Review: NEVER LET ME GO (2010)

Never Let Me Go - poster Director: Mark Romanek
Writers: Kazuo Ishiguro (Novel), Alex Garland (Screenplay)
Running time: 100 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 12

Genre: Drama/Romance/Sci-Fi
UK Release date: 11th February 2011

Watched on Sky+ Sunday 15th January 2012.


I remember hearing about this film when it came out; I was slightly intrigued by it at first, but then I heard it was a bit of a love story and shelved it for a bit. Well, it resurfaced this week and, despite my reservations I decided to give it a look. You’ll be pleased to know I was pleasantly surprised. Some really great performances are the highlight of this heartbreaking tale set in an alternate reality. I will tell you more after this brief summary.

Never Let Me Go - 6 At an idyllic school called Hailsham in the countryside, three children; Kathy, Tommy and Ruth become friends. From the beginning you can tell there is something odd about this school it is not until one of the teachers, Miss Lucy, tells the students of their purpose that the audience, along with the children, begins to understand. [I will not say here what it is as I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t seen the film.] The story is told through the eyes of Kathy  and you can tell that she is attracted to Tommy, but Ruth gets to him first. At the age of eighteen they are allowed to leave and go to live in a place called ‘The Cottages’ with teenagers from other schools. By now Tommy and Ruth have become a couple and they begin to explore the world around them. They hear about something called a ‘deferral’ for couples that are in love [don’t worry, that will make sense when you see the film] and Kathy can’t bare it any longer and leaves to become a carer. She later hears that Tommy and Ruth had broken up. Little does she know but their paths are due to cross again and it is this meeting that will decide their fate. I will not say any more or the Spoiler Police (Alternate Reality Division) will be removing my organs (again).

Never Let Me Go - 1 This film is beautifully made with a great musical score by Rachel Portman, it really captures the mood of the piece. Great cinematography combines with the great British countryside to give the plot the room it needs to breathe. The thing that stands out most though is the performances of the three main characters; Carey Mulligan as Kathy, Andrew Garfield as Tommy and Keira Knightley as Ruth all put in really great performances. I must also give a mention to their young counterparts; Izzy Meikle-Small as Young Kathy, Charlie Rowe as Young Tommy and Ella Purnell as Young Ruth were all excellent also. Honourable mentions go to; Charlotte Rampling as Miss Emily and Sally Hawkins as Miss Lucy.

Never Let Me Go - 3 This is a bit of a heartbreaker of a film, filled with a lot of emotion because the audience are allowed to get to know these characters and become invested in their fate. I have to admit to feeling very sad by the end. It’s beautifully made with great care and so hats off to the filmmakers for making it as enjoyable to watch as it was. As I’ve already said, it’s quite heartbreaking at the end but still well worth a look… Recommended.

My score: 8.3/10.

IMDb Score: 7.2/10 (based on 35,146 votes at the time of going to press).

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer’ Score: 70/100 (based on 162 reviews counted at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 70/100 (based on 29,621 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).

If you’re crazy enough… You can find me on Facebook at:

[first lines]
Kathy: My name is Kathy H. I'm 28 years old. I've been a carer for nine years. And I'm good at my job. My patients always do better than expected, and are hardly ever classified as agitated, even if they're about to make a donation. I'm not trying to boast, but I feel a great sense of pride in what we do. Carers and donors have achieved so much. That said, we aren't machines. In the end it wears you down. I suppose that's why I now spend most of my time not looking forwards, but looking back, to The Cottages and Hailsham, and what happened to us there.

Kathy: It had never occurred to me that our lives, so closely interwoven, could unravel with such speed. If I'd known, maybe I'd have kept tighter hold of them.

[last lines]
Kathy: I come here and imagine that this is the spot where everything I've lost since my childhood is washed out. I tell myself, if that were true, and I waited long enough then a tiny figure would appear on the horizon across the field and gradually get larger until I'd see it was Tommy. He'd wave. And maybe call. I don't know if the fantasy go beyond that, I can't let it. I remind myself I was lucky to have had any time with him at all. What I'm not sure about, is if our lives have been so different from the lives of the people we save. We all complete. Maybe none of us really understand what we've lived through, or feel we've had enough time.

Never Let Me Go - 2 LINKS:
(Note: All were working at the time of going to press)
Official Site:

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