Never Let Me Go

The entire cast bring the film to life when the film is so sorrowfully about death

I strangely stumbled across this movie last week after remember hearing its name upon its first release. Never Let Me Go turned to be one of the most captivating movies i’ve watched this year so far. Before watching films I usually watch the trailers to have an idea of what the film is going to be about, this time I went straight into watching the film. I remembered the film being a romance when I had first heard of it, but I wasn’t prepared to be so teary eyed at what I actually adventured upon.

Carey Mulligan (An Education 2009, Drive 2011, The Great Gatsby2013) stars as one of the three leading roles and the narrator of the film. Never let me go being one of Mulligan’s earlier leading role films, the actress is proving herself as a worthy upcoming actress who delivers on her varied roles. Keira Knightley (Pride and Prejudice 2005, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End 2007,) and Andrew Garfield (The Social Network 2010, The Amazing Spider Man2012) support her as the other two leading roles who form together in the story to create a tangled love triangle.

Kathy, Ruth and Tommy grow up in a somewhat mysterious, private boarding school named Hailsham in the 1970s.  Izzy Meikle-Small, Charlie Rowe and Ella Purnell perform as the leading roles in their younger years, and with performances such as Knightley’s to look up to, the three perform outstandingly and deliver equally enjoyable and strong performances as Mulligan and the others. With their performances we are able to see the personalities of the three children, Tommy who is vulnerable and pulled into a relationship by the smart and jealous Ruth after she sees her quiet best friend Kathy growing close to Tommy. A new teacher Miss Lucy informs the class of the meaning of their lives; to become organ donors and that they will die after their third or perhaps fourth donation and only live short lives. The following day Miss Lucy has left Hailsham and as time passes Kathy, Ruth and Tommy grow older and are rehoused in a country cottage.

The love triangle continues as Ruth and Tommy stayed together despite Kathy hoping they would part during their time at Hailsham. As more time passes the three realise they are growing closer to beginning their operations and the film sets in to be one of the most moving and melancholic films I have seen.

The cinematography has been doing carefully with green, blue and grey colours the film films inescapably dark as the characters do not even consider rebelling against their set futures and running away into a life of freedom. As the film starts they are told what their lives will be, and that’s exactly what they are. Scenes at the beginning of the film where they are checked for medical examinations and even a bruise on Kathy’s cheek causes alarm for one of the teachers show how the children were carefully groomed into being completely healthy for donations. They are told far-fetched stories that stop the children from crossing the boundaries of Hailsham’s fence. There lies a sense of nazism and imprisonment with set futures. 

The entire cast bring the film to life when the film is so sorrowfully about death, the relationships between the cast both young and old are perfectly believable to watch and whilst I route for Kathy and Tommy to be together It’s painful to watch Ruth become the outsider. Whilst Never Let Me Go is gloomy and wistful, it’s a beautiful story that British people old enough to remember the time era and past-time novel readers are going to love.

© Charlotte Morris 2019