Never Let Me Go (2010) Review

As children Kathy, Tommy and Ruth are all at the same school. What appears to be a normal boarding school, Hailsham. But it is far from normal and all of the children who attend the school are far from normal. As they grow into young adults, they find that they have to come to terms with the strength of the love they feel for each other, while preparing themselves for the haunting reality that awaits them.

This haunting reality is slightly exposed by Miss Lucy (Hawkins) who could not stand to lie to the children anymore. Resulting in her leaving the school not long after telling them that they will never be normal, have a job or even much of a life. They are donor’s and once they reach an age in their early twenties the procedures will begin.

However, as the children are so sheltered and in such a fake world at the school, they still do not really understand what it all means. It is suggested that if two of them truly love each other that they will be given a referral for a couple of years to spend the time together.

It is obvious from the start and a young age that Kathy and Tommy were perfect for each other and it was always true love. But Ruth who was supposed to be Kathy’s best friend found herself jealous and took Tommy away from Kathy. I have to admit that I found that part of the story the most hurtful, even if she did try to fix it in the end. She took it all away from them, they could have had many happy years together instead of very limited time.

At the age of 18, Kathy, Tommy and Ruth were moved from the school into the cottages. Both girls seemed very interested in finding their original as each of them were cloned from somebody else. Whilst at the cottages Kathy decided that she would apply to be a carer, who looks after the donors as they complete procedures.

After 10 years Kathy comes across Ruth who has completed her second procedure, this then allows Ruth to admit what she done to keep her apart from Tommy. Reuniting them in the process, which the address of where to go for a referral. This leads to the most heartbreaking scene in the film. While we have already figured out that there is no referral, when Kathy and Tommy eventually realise that they will not have any extra time together it really is just tragic.

A lot of talk in the film was whether or not the clones have souls and if they could really feel everything that a normal human could. That is something which is not properly answered but it did not really seem that anyone actually cared.

I found this film to be very bittersweet, as at times it really did feel awkward and difficult to watch. I found myself really hoping that Kathy and Tommy could be saved to have a life together, but that was never their fate. Their fate had been set out from the very beginning they were never meant to live and really feel anything.

Performance wise I really did enjoy Carey Mulligan in this film, she is quickly becoming one of my favorite current actresses as she always manages to seem so innocent. Andrew Garfield was very convincing as well. I am not a big fan of Keira Knightley and this film has not helped to change my mind. I don’t know if the fact I did not like the character at all was part of that. Also Izzy Meikle-Small who was the younger Kathy really did look like Mulligan it was quite scary at times! But brilliant as at least we could not mistake who she was a younger version of.

“We all complete. Maybe none of us really understand what we’ve lived through, or feel we’ve had enough time.”

13 thoughts on “Never Let Me Go (2010) Review

  1. “Bittersweet” is a good way to put this one. Really dug it myself and was a huge fan of Romanek’s direction. Wish the characters hadn’t been so emotionally cold, but other than that, very good stuff. Glad you sorta liked it.

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    • Was the emotionally coldness of the characters supposed to be like that, with the whole clone/no soul element. As I think that is what made it more difficult to really like this film.

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    • The release date seemed to keep getting pushed back in the UK which I found quite strange. As I am sure it was mentioned for possible Oscars (before it was released).

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  2. My girlfriends suggested this for our girls movie night but I opt to see something more uplifting as a group. I do still want to see it on my own though, the subject matter is certainly intriguing. I’ve also become a fan of both Mulligan and Garfield so looking forward to seeing this.

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  3. I really enjoyed the movie. The acting is brilliant, as you would expect from Carey Mulligan and Andrew Garfield but I have to disagree with you about Keira Knightley, I really liked her performance too. As the least likeable character she had a hard job but did it really well.

    The only problem I had with the movie was the accepting nature of the characters. They all accepted their fates without complaint or resistance. Why does nobody run? Think Logan’s Run or The Handmaid’s Tale. Having not read the book I don’t know if this idea is explored there or not.

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  4. What a beautiful film and I simply adored the young girl, Izzy Meikle-small who played the Young kathy – she was wonderful!

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