Year of release: 2010
Director: Mark Romanek
Stars: Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield, Keira Knightley, Charlotte Rampling, Sally Hawkins, Izzy Meikle-Small, Charlie Rowe, Kate Bowes Renna
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 7
Synopsis:Mark Romanek has established himself as a commercials and music videos director, before embarking in his film-making path. His first film "One Hour Photo" with Robin Williams and Connie Nielsen was an interesting look into the alienation of one person. He was next going to tackle "The Wolfman", but after disputes with the studio, he abandoned that project and embarked on "Never Let Me Go", based on the book by Kazuo Ishiguro (who also wrote "The Remains of the Day", brought to the screen in 1993 with the direction of James Ivory). The film follows the story of three friends, Kathy, Tommy and Ruth. We're introduced to them as children, living and attending a private school. Kathy and Tommy form a bond that Ruth, out of jealousy, tries to break by starting to court and ultimately developing a relationship with Tommy when they are both older. There is a sense of doom in the lives of these young men and women, as Kathy narrates her and her friends story.
The film has a pace that is contemplative, but also allows for the characters to be understood, particularly Kathy, the narrator and main focus of the film. The bleak premise of the film, makes her a perfect conducting figure, since she seems to be so at peace with herself. Her anguish for knowing that Tommy isn't with her, when he's the one she knows belongs in her life, dissipates as she matures and begins a different phase in her life. When they do get back together, there's a sense of completion and acceptance in her life. The film is nonetheless quite tragic in what it displays. Even if the story is somewhat implausible, the touching (and fantastic) performance from Carey Mulligan does echo throughout the entire film. The cinematography and attention to details in the shots, are a proof that Mark Romanek knows that in a story such as this, the small things mean so much. A film worth watching.