Never Let Me Go was nothing like what I was expecting. I had heard that it was a great, emotional film and it's obvious that it's a romance; however, I knew nothing about the deep and haunting plotline. Some say that they were disappointed with the movie as it did not live up to the expectations set by the book, but if that's the case, the book must be bloody brilliant.
The film revolves around the lives of Cathy, Ruth and Tommy, three children who meet each other at Hailsham, a boarding school for children. The film is quite clever in that it is split into three main parts at different points in the characters lives which means that a lot of the irrelevant waffle that you find between parts of films is gone. At the beginning we see Cathy, the narrator, looking back on her life to when the three children were at Hailsham, then it moves on to when the three are moved to 'The Cottages' and live there after they're 18, the third and final part is when the three characters are nearing their thirties but they've all gone their separate ways. This is great because we get to see how the characters have progressed throughout their lives and it makes the film a lot more interesting.
The lives of all the children are changed when they discover that they are in fact 'donors', children who were bred for the sole purpose of providing organs for people with illnesses such as cancer and prolonging the human life span to well over 100 years. I was truly shocked and disgusted when I found this out. This film explores the possibility of 'harvesting' humans to save other humans. Now thinking about it, this could actually happen, perhaps that is what makes it so gruesome. When I say grusome, the film itself isn't grusome, it's not gory, but in the back of your mind you are constantly thinking about people harvesting organs and the likes and it's really not a very nice thought. It is quite shocking to think that a society would go to these lengths to prolong human life and it's truly disturbing.
Whilst the knowledge that all three are destined to be donors plays around in the back of your mind, in the forefront the plot moves on as Ruth and Tommy start dating even though it's plain for the audience to see that Cathy and Tommy should be together. This is a story of true love as Cathy never stops loving Tommy all throughout her years, even though he is in a relationship with her best friend. After leaving Hailsham School they move to 'The Cottages' where they wait to be called up to start donating. Cathy took the opportunity to apply to be a 'carer' of the donors, which means that she would be called to donate much later and in the meantime she has to care for the donors whose conditions get steadily worse the more donations they do. This is when the three friends part, Cathy becomes a carer and Tommy and Ruth become donors. Of course, later on they are reunited and then it gets really emotional as all three are fighting against time to rectify their past mistakes and to try and make the most of the time they have left before they 'complete'.
This story is so moving and it sort of has two plot lines that are closely intertwined. The story of love between the three friends and the story of their donations. It is truly saddening and really makes you think about the moral implications of sacrificing humans to save other humans. This film is incredible and I highly recommend it but prepared to shed a tear or two. The acting is superb from the three main characters: Keira Knightly, Andy Garfield and Carey Mulligan and it is tied together with the carefully constructed plot line making this movie unmissable. I'm definitely going to add 'Never Let Me Go' to my summer reading list as well.
Out on DVD now.