Never Let Me Go(film) - open spoilers

This is about the movie version of Never Let Me Go.

Spoilers in the next post.

OK, so my wife and I watched it last night on DVD.

It’s a well made movie. Very well acted, beautifully shot, well directed, perfectly edited, and just the right length.

We didn’t like it.

It isn’t because its depressing. We don’t mind serious movies, even ones that are very sad. I like both Grave of Fireflies and Dear Zachary, two of the most depressing movies ever made.

However, I just don’t think the Never Let Me Go movies has…much of a point for its sadness. It felt to me that it was depressing just to be depressing. Somber just to be somber.

I haven’t read the book, by the way. I’m not sure if strong themes are developed, but I just don’t pull much from the movie. I guess it could be about the lengths humans will go to survive, but the movie only followed the donor-kids and we get little glimpse into the “real” world.

I don’t know. I guess I just missed the boat on this movie.


Ditto. It just wasn’t very entertaining.

Sounds like the movie follows the book closely. (I’ve read the book, not seen the film). The book is very dry in its presentation. Part of the tragedy is that the donor-clones take their situation as a fate which cannot be altered. When one of them finally expresses emotion about it all it was very powerful.

The book was wonderful–very well written. I thought about it for days afterward. Watching the movie, I felt just like the OP did.


See, I’m not the average dumb movie goer, either. We don’t need stuff to just “get blowed up” to like movies.

But this movie…just lacked a real point to it all.

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but the Island(yes, from Michael Bay) almost did more with a similar concept. While that movie is mindless action, it did at least develop its conflict.

Never Let Me Go as a movie shows characters having a conflict, but not fighting to resolve it.

I’m not saying Never Let Me Go is worse than the Island, but…well, it almost is.

And I can’t believe I’m saying a real movie is worse than a Bay movie…one that had Bayslposions even.

I really liked the movie. I can see where you are coming from, however. What may have kept my interest was the phenomenal… je ne sais quoi of Carey Mulligan.

I was hoping otherwise, because where you saw “dry” I saw “dull” and didn’t bother finishing it. I’d hoped that some of the stiffness of the language in the book would translate better into film, but it doesn’t sound like it did.

I think that this is the big thing about the film (presumably the book as well, although I haven’t read it); the idea that this is a world in which everyone, clones and recipients alike, accept that there are some people who are born, raised and die simply to provide organs for others. Those of us watching the film see it and are horrified at the idea, but to those in the film, this is all they know.

One might liken it to the idea that we today accept that some people will die today due to a lack of clean water or sufficient food, or that some large number of animals will die so that we can be clothed and fed. Someone watching a movie about our world might similarly be horrified at those ideas, but these are things that we accept.

I felt the same way as the OP. There were lots of good things to like about the movie, in theory, but overall it was just dull, static, uninvolving and rather boring. Plus the music was dreadful - repetitive beyond belief and often irritatingly intrusive. Carey Mulligan was the only reason I stayed to the end.

But according to the opening text, the big medical breakthrough that enabled all this only occurred around 1957 or so. The movie took place in the 1980’s and 1990’s. Some people must remember when society did not do this.

As I remember, someone in the film (possibly Madame or the headmistress) says that people wouldn’t want to return to the time before the clones made a cure for diseases possible. So, yes, some people remember that time, but they have come to accept the price that’s paid for the organs.

I find it interesting that by the end of the movie, it looks like they don’t even bother educating or making a good life for the clone donors. Is that accurate to the book? Do they stop educating them?

I’ve not seen the movie and just read the book. I think one of the big things is that in a way we are all the donors. We avoid talking about death and pretend as if there’s some meaning to life. We appeal to the higher powers looking for meaning and a grasp at more life, but there really is no chance. Some live longer than others and some don’t, but age takes us all.

Stretching farther, it may be our work for society taking away our valuable time is our donation. In the end nothing from school that we thought was so important, our art, or anything else will have lasting meaning because we will be dead and gone.

Reported as depressing

Yea the book was depressing.

I can’t say I loved the book. It was a bit dull and mundane, but in a way that is it’s greatness. At first we see these donors as freaks that should fight for a better life and later come to realize that they are an analogy for all of our lives and the need to come to terms with our mortality.

I haven’t seen the movie, but in the book, it’s made clear by the end that Hailsham, the school where much of it is set, is unusual among the places where donors are raised. It was created as an experiment, to show that the clones had souls, in the sense of having the same feelings and connections that non-clones do. Other clones were raised in grey, depressing places without much in the way of resources.

I found the book beautiful, although very sad.

I thought in the movie someone said that the other schools were more like battery farms (i.e., factory farms) while Hailsham looked like a typical English boarding school. So, yes, it didn’t seem like a lot of effort was made to educate the clones.

With my interpretation, the differences between the schools would be similar to those of us lucky enough to be in first world nations and / or rich enough for a delicate childhood. The other schools would be like the poor of developing nations.

You should read the book . Like pretty much everything Kazuo Ishiguro writes, it’s exquisite.

Exquisite pain in this case. This is a story that was never meant to be a film.