Monday, March 26, 2012

Never Let Me Go

This is a story based on Kazuo Ishiguro's novel of the same name. He is also the author of The Remains of the Day, a story which I love in both book and movie form. I love slowly paced movies with little dialogue (see Spider with Ralph Fiennes) and I'm in a somber mood and have enjoyed dark stories as of late, so the stars were aligned for me to love this story.

Too bad I hated it.

It's set in an alternate past in England where people are bred to be organ donors to the point of donating until they die. The main characters are Kathy H. (Carey Mulligan), Tommy (Andrew Garfield), and Ruth (Keira Knightly). They all attended the same boarding school for donors and the audience is supposed to believe they're friends/become friends. I suppose one could call their relationships with one another friendships, but yikes. Kathy is a sweet and sensitive girl who befriends raging Tommy. Kathy likes Tommy, but Ruth, her best friend, makes him her boyfriend and Tommy just goes along with it for SEVERAL YEARS.

They have to leave the boarding house when they're 18 and wait for their turn to start donating. (Kill me. Writing about this is just as boring as watching it.) They move into a house with other graduates and hang out. And are all weird and intense sometimes and go on walks and Ruth and Tommy have sex and Kathy keeps to herself and lets Ruth be a bitch to her until Kathy decides to apply as caretaker (don't ask) right around the time Ruth and Tommy break up.

They separate for about 10 years and Kathy comes across Ruth who's on her deathbed and who apologizes. They go find Tommy and Ruth dies during her second donation. Kathy and Tommy have a go at it for a short time since he's already donated twice and will probably die with the third. He does. Then Kathy gets notice that she's going to have to start donating soon.

This whole, boring movie is a set up to get to a point that Kathy makes at the very end: Nobody figures it out (life) and fucks up a lot trying to do so and not do so and it doesn't matter if you're a sheltered donor who is killed in your twenties or you live until your nineties.

It's a comforting message, but I didn't need over an hour and a half of not much to get to it.

This story needed either more back story about the situation or more interactions between the characters. I just had a hard time accepting the complacency of the donors. They wear electronic monitoring bracelets, but damn, make a run for it. Even if it was impossible to get away, I would have a good time until my donation notice and then figure out a way to kill myself that wouldn't allow for my parts to be harvested. A big ole "fuck all y'all" to the powers that be.

It didn't help that I kept thinking about Minority Report and kept saying, out loud, "That's the new Spiderman? Really?"

I don't recommend this movie, but I still highly recommend The Remains of the Day, in both mediums. I probably should've read the book first. Live and learn.

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