Saturday, April 2, 2011

'Never Let Me Go'

Don't let the quote on the front of the DVD box fool you, this film is not just a love story, in fact, it's more of a dystopian sci fi story that has a minor love angle in it. I am not exaggerating when I say Never Let Me Go is one of the finest films I have ever seen. It's in my top ten favorite films of all time and it's going to be quite some time before I see anything that measures up to the level of greatness that this film attains.

Without giving too much of the plot away, the film is about a school where some very special children are being raised. The story centers on three of the children who grow up and out of the school but not out of the life that the school has prepared for them. As you watch the film you wonder why the kids are treated the way they are and why the people outside the school treat and react to them the way they do, and when you finally figure it all out, it all makes perfect sense.

This film is one of the most disquieting, disturbing, unnerving, melancholy (but seriously, don't let those words throw you off from seeing this modern masterpiece), brilliant, touching, and evocative films I have ever seen. Some of the scenes will break your heart, especially the ones where the kids in the school get to spend their 'tokens' on the bumper crop of 'goodies' and when one brave teacher tells the kids what their lives have in store for them, and some of the scenes will creep you out with their banal depiction of life in an alternate parallel time line that could have been ours but thankfully isn't.

The acting by the three leads is stupendous. It's easily the best performance Keira 'Skeletor' Kinghtley has ever turned in. I'm sure I've seen Andrew Garfield in other things but I've never really noticed how good he was in them compared to this. And after turning in many a fine performance in many a film and BBC TV production, Carey Mulligan turns in her most nuanced striking performance ever in this movie. Also good are the always great Charlotte Rampling and as the brave truth telling teacher, Sally Hawkins lights up the screen with her quiet dignity and her refusal to hoodwink the children in her care.

Everything about this film is great, from the script to the art direction to the dystopian retro look to the sure handed direction and editing. I can't say enough good things about this movie. It's one of those movies that will stay with you forever. Do yourself a favor and watch it as soon as you can because it's the finest example of modern film making and great story telling that I've seen in many a year.


Barbara Bruederlin said...

I've been curious about this one. Good to see the monkey stamp of approval.

Blackdogred said...

If you like the movie, you'll love Ishiguro's novel. Times infinity.

Lsamsa said...

Another recommendation added to my list of films to see. Your reviews are really inspiring.
I only wish that out here in the country we had access to movies that are great &/or classics...not just 'recent & full of stupid effects'. One reason I miss being in T.O.