Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Never Let Me Go

Are we living in a society that’s inherently bad, do we recognise the underlying warning tones, are we all living in a negative utopia characterised by an authoritarian form of government, are there repressive social control systems in place that restrict our individual freedom? That’s the power of cinema: you trot along to the RBC Film Club on a Monday night and you end up spouting unintelligible rhetoric!

Cathy, Ruth and Tommy
Do movies really reflect the time that they were made, if true, then how will future generations view the dystopian drama Never Let Me Go (2010)? Kazuo Ishiguros a Japanese author, who was brought up in England, wrote the novel, that the film is based upon, in 2005. It was adapted for the screen by fellow novelist Alex Garland who was responsible for the novel The Beach and the original screenplays for both 28 Days Later (2002) and Sunshine (2007). It is set in a post war Britain in which the mayor scientific break-through is in genetics rather than nuclear physics, a society where human cloning is an accepted fact. These clones are created for the sole purpose of donating their vital organs to enable the life span of the “humans” to exceed the100 year mark. Young people would complete (die) in early adulthood after a second or third extraction. The children, who unconditionally accept their fate without the slightest hint of rebellion, are brought up in what closely resembles a 1950’s boarding school. The story centres on three of the children we first see at Hailsham School in 1978. Kathy H falls for Tommy but Ruth highjacks their relationship and forms a strong attachment to the emotionally fragile young boy that lasts well past the time all three leave the boarding school. Kathy eventually becomes one of the privileged clones acting as a carer, a position that will prolong her life beyond the normal expectations of a clone! Directed by Mark Romanek, who spent the previous twelve years making music videos for such well-known rock artiste as REM, Nine Inch Nails, Madonna and Michael Jackson and starring Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightley and Andrew Garfield who superbly play out the the grown up version of the children.

The viewer is restricted to what Kathy allows us to see through her narration giving us what is probable a blinkered view of her peripheral world. The film really makes you question our inability to escape the human lifespan what ever period were allocated be it 100 years or 100 days in fact do we really accept that our time is truly limited? Still just like the film, is life not just an attempt to love and be loved?

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