A beautiful adaptation of a devastating novel.
Directed by Mark Romanek
If a reflective, painfully depressing movie is not your idea of a good time, stay far away from this one. However if you are interested in movies that serve up powerful experiences that stick with you, give this one a look. Never Let Me Go weaves a disturbing tale about love, choice and dehumanization.
The story documents the lives of 3 young friends, Kathy, Tommy and Ruth who live in a boarding school called Hailsham, and we see their transition from childhood into adulthood. At the same time, they begin to realize the boarding school might not be what it seems.
This is a film that really benefits from going in blind. So while the story might sound boring, there is a revelation that you learn very early on that informs you of the real journey, and plight that our characters face. The mere mention of the revelation will only spoil it for you. Suffice to say, it feels both cruel yet provocative. This is one of those movies where you will have strong opinions of the themes explored within it.
What surprised me the most was how peaceful the tone was. Yes, the film is melodramatic, but it does so in a quiet, nuanced manner. This isn’t a movie about angst in a terrible situation, but rather a contemplative one that reflects on the journey that our characters, wonderfully realized by a strong cast, go through. And what an unforgettable tale it is.
When the inevitable conclusion finally arrived, i was left devastated, yet appreciative of the journey i went on. How often can a story, in any form make you ponder about life, equality, existence and choice? Even after years of viewing it, i still think about those questions. If that isn’t a mark of a great film, i don’t know what is. This is not a film for everyone, but a film everyone should try once.