Inspired by Kazuo Ishiguro’s 2005 novel of the same name, “Never Let Me Go” is one of the most heartbreaking and beautiful films of the year because of its stellar performances and haunting premise.
Kathy (Carey Mulligan), Tommy (Andrew Garfield) and Ruth (Keira Knightley) spend their childhood at a mysterious British boarding school in the 1970s. As they get older, they begin to discover the love they have for one another, even as they come to terms with their chilling purpose in life.
Mark Romanek directs the film with a hypnotic grace, and his constant change in color schemes gives the film a somber and dramatic mood. Rachel Portman’s score echoes throughout the film, providing tender moments in the bittersweet romance Garfield and Mulligan create.
Garfield delivers a phenomenal performance that resonates until the film’s shocking conclusion where he breaks down and delivers a tour-de-force of heartache. Tommy’s moral conflict comes from being constantly seduced by Ruth, but secretly pining for Kathy, as he grows older.
While it’s a story deepened by its fascinating characters, “Never Let Me Go” is a touching film about falling in love, what it means to be human and the tragic inevitability of time.
“Never Let Me Go” was written by Alex Garland and directed by Mark Romanek.