Never Let Me Go, directed by Mark Romanek (One Hour Photo), is adapted from the novel written by Kazuo Ishiguro, and stars the amazing Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield, and Keira Knightly. Set in 1970s Britain, the story follows three friends Cathy, Tommy, and Ruth, clones, raised in a Stalinist-like boarding school, to one day be organ donors. This is the setting for a love triangle which soon develops between the three main characters.
The film as a whole is beautiful, the performances are solid, and the soundtrack, absolutely haunting. Apart from a few adult scenes, I have nothing to critic about the movie itself. It wasn't until the end, that I realized how cold, and almost horrific everything felt. Like I had just watched something chilling and despicable take place. The story could be dismissed as something imaginative and unreal, but how far from the mark is the premise? When you think about it, human life isn't actually regarded as sacred anymore. A lot of what is described as advancement in medicine, and science, is at the expense of human life. Abortion, stem-cell research; it's all the same thing.
Cathy and her friends are seen by the outside world as something less than human. They are shown to be talented and bright individuals, with the capability of living full, and exciting lives, but they are robbed of a future, helpless to stop their fate. How many unborn children have been condemned in a similar fashion. Are some human lives to be regarded as more important than others. How far are we really from seeing a situation like this in the future. Maybe the whole premise was a little bit too close to reality than we decent people would like to think, or that is particularly pleasant to watch! I'm not trying to be over dramatic, or sensationalistic; I'm seriously thinking here ( a dangerous thing I know!). The more mankind extends the boundary of morality, the easier it will be to justify death in the name of advancement.
Something at the Cathy says that end of the film stuck with me as well; "All of us complete. Maybe none of us really understand what we've lived through or feel we've had enough time". Death is a reality that everyone faces; the question is who are you, and what have you done in your life? -which is actually two questions, but anyway!- As a Christian, the answer to these questions, at the end of our time here, should be very simple; I am in Christ, and I have lived for Him. If God was to call me home now, would I be able to say this? Or would I be wishing for more time? Have I really lived for Him, and Him alone? For the Christian, life is not so very difficult to explain, albeit full of many unexpected twists, and turns. We are here to bring glory to Him. That purpose has been set out for me to fulfill, nothing else really matters in the end.
You may think this is all a bit over the top. It's just a movie after all. Yes, it is just a movie, and really doesn't matter at the end of the day, but it's a film about someone's perspective on life and death, and those aren't just little things. Is it a film that I'd recommend seeing? Not really. Did I enjoy it? Probably not the right word! Did I hate it? Not at all. Did it make me think? Obviously!
So maybe I'm being melodramatic, but the film really got me thinking about some bigger issues, and I just had to put it into words. I've posted the trailer below, just in case anyone's interested in seeing it. Leave me a comment if you've ever watched a film that made you think about things that went way beyond the movie. I'd love to hear your thoughts.