johnlink ranks NEVER LET ME GO (2010)

This is the sort of film I’m not seeing enough of anymore. Since Quinn was born,  usually my movie watching time tends more towards entertainment. That isn’t to say I never watch good films any more, but I find that I seek them out less than I used to. NEVER LET ME GO is not a film I was overly familiar with going in, and my experience was better for it.

I watched NEVER LET ME GO (2010) on 3.7.12. It was my first viewing of the film.

This film supposes an alternate reality wherein, sometime in the 60s, a medical breakthrough happened allowing people to live into their hundreds. They have schools where children are brought up, isolated from society, until they are old enough to be harvested for their organs. This movie tells the story of three of those kids, partly as they come of age, and partly after they have matured. It is (in a strange way) a serious and much higher quality telling of Michael Bay’s THE ISLAND. ,Explosions, product placement, and Steve Buscemi are replaced by such archaic devices as story, quality acting, interesting shot selection, and the new Spider-Man.

Andrew Garfield, the new Spider-Man, was previously unknown to me. I somehow still have not seen SOCIAL NETWORK despite being someone who writes a blog about movies. This is the first work I’ve seen him do. He is phenomenal. He gives a nuanced and interesting performance as a young man not quite like the other boys is stellar. Keira Knightley tries hard as the pretty girl, and she isn’t bad, but she is not nearly as good as Carey Mulligan, who is the center of this narrative.

This is a haunting and melancholy movie which somehow manages to not leave you wanting to slit your wrists at the end. The final narrative perhaps drives home the movie’s theme a little too strongly, but perhaps it is a necessary catharsis for the tough emotional ride the viewer has just taken. This isn’t hard to watch and depressing like REQUIEM FOR A DREAM, but rather it is emotional to get through due to the inevitability of where it is all going.

The film is beautifully shot, with the rolling landscapes of England projecting, somehow, as both majestic and choking at the same time. There is a ton of information to mine in the creations of the shots which don’t get reinforced in the dialogue. The camera supports the tone of the film, often telling the viewer things left unsaid, while also allowing these characters to live and breathe. I really enjoyed the way this unfolded.

It was interesting to see Domhnall Gleeson, one of the Weasley twins from the HARRY POTTER series, in a series and tough role. Sometimes this sort of casting pulls away from the nature of a serious film, but his commitment, and complete departure from the silliness he infused Bill Weasley with, adds rather than detracts.

As a matter of circumstance, I am writing this review about 36 hours after seeing the film. It has grown in my mind since then, with much of the sadness fading (though still there) and the spirit with which these characters lived growing. No doubt this movie hurts, but it also tries to leave its audience with a message which we constantly forget. I’m tempted to quote it here, but I’d rather you just hunt this down and see it.



The cinematography of the quaint schools and small towns is mesmerizing. The choice of shots certainly built a cradle for this film to rest comfortably within.



~ by johnlink00 on March 9, 2012.

2 Responses to “johnlink ranks NEVER LET ME GO (2010)”

  1. […] Sean Parker. Andrew Garfield, the next Spider-Man (who I recently discovered was a great actor in NEVER LET ME GO), serves as the audiences’ point of view as Zuckerberg roommate Eduardo Saverin. The twins, […]

  2. […] all seemed so premature. So what made me want to see this? I saw Andrew Garfield in a movie called NEVER LET ME GO, and his performance sold me on him. He didn’t make me rush out to theaters, but I was […]

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