Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield, Kiera Knightley

Star Movies

Star Movies had the distracting Sweet Flicks 'logo' on the upper top left side of the screen. But this interesting, haunting and affecting film, in my opinion could hardly qualify as a sweet flick.  It was more a bittersweet dark story of love and jealousy set in an creepy alternate universe.  A  place that mercifully just thrives within the pages of a science fiction novel.  

We first see Kathy, Tommy and Ruth as kids in Hailsham, an English boarding school in the early 1950s.  Eventually, the audience as well as the children learn they are being groomed as donors. Once they reach adulthood, their vital organs will be 'harvested'.  After their 3rd or 4th donation, their short life will be completed.  In short, they won't make it to middle age, they won't marry or raise a family.  Their eerie destiny has been sealed and they have no choice but to accept their doomed fate.

The pacing of the movie is really slow. I was astonished the twist was revealed early on in the film, but it certainly set the bleak tone. It also presented the characters in an entirely different light.  Set in an overcast English countryside, it was nevertheless a lyrical and visually beautiful production. The melancholic musical score was appropriate to a sad and heartbreaking story.

Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield (before he became the Amazing Spider Man) and Keira Knightley give cinematic life to the central characters developed in a novel by acclaimed author, Kazuo Ishiguro (who also wrote "Remains of the Day").  I've never read any of his books because from browsing at book stores, I noticed his style of writing doesn't capture my interest.

Keira Knightley and Andrew Garfield are excellent in their roles, but Carey Mulligan definitely stands out  as Kathy. Her sublime restraint and subtlety makes her tragic character all the more poignant. The way her character handled an emotional set back as well as major upheavals is gut wrenching.  Her stoic demeanor belies the inner turmoil she endured during her childhood.  And it also prodded her to face her fate with peaceful serenity.

"Never let me go" is one of the saddest films I've watched in my lifetime yet it was also very thought provoking.  It made me realize just how valuable life is.

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