18 April 2024

DVD Review: Never Let Me Go

Never let me go is adapted from a novel of the same title by Kazuo Ishiguro . It is set within a distopian alternate reality where humans are cloned and brought up as living organ donors. Not in the Solyent Green is people kind of way, but rather as an accepted alternate medical practice. We follow the lives of three these people: Tommy (Andrew Garfield), Kathy (Carrie Mulligan) and Ruth (Kiera Knightly). Their lives intertwine across time, relationships are cultivated and destroyed. Throughout they learn to deal with a verisimilitude life, never quite having any real autonomy as their lives have already been decided for them.

Mark Romanek does a brilliant job of placing this scifi universe within a very tangible reality, the only point at which you are remind that there is an element of futurism is by the unassuming tag on each of the clone’s wrists. Instead Romanek focuses on strong the story of this bond within a subculture and the nature of ethics within this world. In these people we are shown every trait of humanity, yet they are treated as spare parts. As they are called upon to ‘donate’, their organs harvested with no dignity once they die, as they are seen as just living shells. Never Let Me Go succeeds in making one empathize with it’s characters and asks what it is that truely defines us as a person, an individual; and how whether these ethics are acceptable as a necessary evil from a utilitarian view. There is utter disparity as Garfield belives he has identified how to verify the existence of a soul. You as the audience want to believe, but really  already know the answer to the question.

This film would not stand so strong though were it not for the performances of it’s cast. From the kids who played the younger versions and were able to mimic the traits of their counterparts to the leading cast themselves who have us emotionally invested. The film’s score also helps to create the right mood and tone through a sombre solo violin.

Never Let Me Go is an incredibly moving film, that like all great films leaves you questioning the themes contained within it.  It is a film about escape but in a metaphysical sense of whether it is an escape from life or death. All round it strikes a resonant chord which is a pausible chilling reality.

Never Let Me Go is available to buy now on Blu-Ray and DVD.


Dexter Kong

Rated: 12A(UK)
Release Date: 27th June 2011
DirectorMark Romanek
CastCarey MulliganAndrew GarfieldKeira KnightleyCharlotte RamplingSally Hawkins

 DVD & Blu Ray Extra’s Include:

  • The Secrets of Never Let Me Go – A terrific making-of documentary featuring behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with all the key players in the film’s production
  • Mark Romanek’s On-Set Photography – A self-playing gallery with beautifully stark black and white images of the cast and crew on set
  • Tommy’s Art – Another self-playing gallery, set to music from the film
  • National Donor Programme & Hailsham Campaign Graphics – A gallery of fake posters and ephemera for the National Donor Programme
  • Theatrical Trailer

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