Amazon Holiday

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Never Let Me Go

Q: What’s the movie about?

A: Three kids (Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield, Keira Knightley) grow up together in an English boarding school, where their love triangle is confused by the fact that they are the only family the other two know... and they're clones whose sole purpose for existing is to donate organs.

Q: Who’s in the movie?

A: Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield, Keira Knightley, Isobel Meikle-Small, Charlie Rowe, Ella Purnell, Charlotte Rampling, Sally Hawkins, Nathalie Richard, Andrew Riseborough, Domhnall Gleeson

Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?

A: PhotobucketProceed with Caution. There are many unanswered logic questions, which all turn out to make perfect sense if you get a chance to listen to a Q & A where the book's author, the filmmaker, the screenwriter, and the actors explain their intentions. I got that after my screening, so I know what they were trying to do, and it's quite deep. Unfortunately, most audiences won't have the cast and crew there to explain all the pitfalls in the logic, and in making up their own excuses, those who guess correctly will love it, and the rest will find it not to depict humanity very well. But the bottom line is, if the film requires a live person telling you answers, then they didn't communicate it on the screen.

Q: Will this movie make me laugh?

A: Some of the hairstyles might... aside from that it's all pretty bleak.

Q: Will this movie make me cry?

A: The friend I saw it with, who really loved it, says she was holding back tears. She was one of those who had guessed correctly, I imagine. I, on the other hand, felt detached from the characters, because they had too many passive reactions that made me write them off as clones who don't act like humans. By the end of the film I realized that was not what the filmmakers had hoped I would think.

Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?

A: It is certainly angling for that.

Q: How is the Acting?

A: Carey Mulligan is not a one hit wonder. In fact she may be the next Meryl Streep. Isobel Meikle-Small, who plays her as a child, channels Mulligan perfectly, despite the fact that she has never been in front of a camera before. And Andrew Garfield is the next Spider-man, so you may want to catch him here, in an acting role, before he never gets to do a small independent movie again.

Q: How is the Directing?

A: Coming from a music video background, Mark Romanek has a mastery of the technical aspects of shooting a film, and he uses color expertly, as he gradually desaturates the picture from the first section of the film, to the second, to the third, in an effort to depict the slow deterioration of the characters' life-spans.

Q: How is the story/script?

A: This script implies that the book it's based on is quite beautiful. What I'm saying is that the screenwriter fell in love with the book, and stayed too faithful to it, ultimately failing to translate the material cohesively to a medium that requires more direct explanations and less poetry. A film is not a book. In part because you can't hear the ramblings from inside the author's head, which normally fill the pages of a book, creating the tone and subtext. A film is a visual medium and is generally shorter than a book. To adapt it, you have to pick it apart and chop it up, which usually requires moving things around, and then you have to bring the important elements to life again in a clear, visual, and brief way, telling the same story differently, yet equally as beautifully.

Q: Is there anything else worth mentioning about the movie?

A: The sci-fi twist seems like it wants to be the main thrust of the movie, and draws a conclusion about clones that feels trite and obvious. Surprisingly, in the Q & A, the book's author, Kazuo Ishiguro, explained that he only used the sci-fi twist as a device to show how short our time is, here on Earth. It will improve your viewing experience to know going in that the filmmakers are more interested in examining mortality and how quickly death approaches, than they are in examining the pros and cons of human cloning. Without knowing this, the cloning stuff will look like it's meant to be the main hook.

Q: Where can I see the trailer?


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Soccer Mom said...

The lead characters seem to have normal hairstyles. Which jokers sported the funny hairstyles?

Monique Elisabeth said...

In the picture shown here Andrew Garfield's character's hair is at its best, but in the next section of the film it's shaved off, making his ears look big, and making him look weird, sickly, and mentally unbalaced...

Keira Knightley looks gorgeous no matter what you do to her hair...

But Carey Mulligan's hair, is really bad throughout, even the hairstyle pictured here looks ridiculous when you see it in motion and from all the different angles, (this picture is a good angle on the cut). It seems like they're trying to make her look ugly. She also has a second haircut (because the film takes place over 3 decades) which is equally unflattering on her. In person, her hair looked great!