Review: Never Let Me Go DVD

STUDIO: Fox | DIRECTOR: Mark Romanek | CAST: Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield, Keira Knightley, Charlotte Rampling, Sally Hawkins
RELEASE DATE: 2/1/11 | PRICE: DVD $29.99, Blu-ray $39.99
BONUSES: featurette, photo gallery, artwork
SPECS: R | 103 min. | Sci-fi drama | 2.35:1 widescreen | Dolby Digital 5.1 | English, French and Spanish subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

Never Let Me Go movie scene

The future doesn't look to be all that bright in Never Let Me Go.

The lead performers shine in Never Let Me Go, an odd but compelling hybrid movie that’s a science-fiction tearjerker (!), adapted from the novel by Kazuo Ishiguro (The Remains of the Day). The film takes a Blade Runner-like look at what comprises humanity — in Ridley Scott’s (Robin Hood) classic it was memory, but in Never Let Me Go, the characters discover it is love.

The plot involves a romantic triangle between three young people who attend a special boarding school. The school encourages the students artistically, but it also is highly regimented — because the students are in fact clones who will be harvested for their organs when they reach adulthood. From this very grim premise comes a soft-hearted love story, as one young woman (Carey Mulligan, The Greatest) maintains a love for her first crush (Andrew Garfield, The Social Network), even as he carries on a relationship with her best friend (Keira Knightley, Atonement).

Director Mark Romanek, best known for his stylish music videos, and scripter Alex Garland (28 Days Later) perform an impressive balancing act with this film, delivering touching moments of sentiment while also exploring the philosophical notions about human nature found in Ishiguro’s novel. Throughout, the three stars (particularly Mulligan) do a wonderful job of incarnating their confused and all-too-human (yet not really human) characters.

The Never Let Me Go DVD includes a 30-minute making-of featurette that’s highlighted by comments from all the principals, as well as Ishiguro. Also included is a photo gallery of striking images taken by Romanek on the set and a portfolio of artwork seen in the film.

 

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About Ed

Ed Grant has written about film for a wide range of periodicals, books and websites. He edited the reference book The Motion Picture Guide Annual and, since 1993, has produced and hosted the weekly cable program Media Funhouse, which Time magazine called “the most eclectic and useful movie show on TV.”