I must confess that I have yet to read Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel, upon which Mark Romanek’s 2010 adaptation is based, so any subsequent thoughts collected here are based on the film alone. A film that I think is absolutely wonderful.
I was keen to view Never let me go after I watched the trailer last year, but I must admit that I was slightly apprehensive that the science fiction element of the plot would overwhelm the film. Fortunately, Alex Garland’s screenplay and Romanek’s direction is a near perfect balance of dystopian narrative and romantic, period drama sensibilities.
The themes of love and death, and issues concerning the ethics of cloning and whether clones have souls, are beautifully handled through the moving performances of Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightley and Andrew Garfield (*new crush*). Each possesses a strangely fragile sense of strength that is also reflected in the cinematography, which is dreamily sedate, washed-out and yet visceral. There is a lingering melancholy that is even present in the movement of the camera as it traces the sights of the film, attempting to indelibly apply each visual to memory just as the characters do.
I always try to watch films that are endowed with a visual elegance that is matched by a strong story, and Never let me go did not disappoint.