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Never Let Me Go [Blu-ray] [2010] [US Import]

Keira Knightley , Carey Mulligan , Mark Romanek    Blu-ray
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)
Price: 6.73
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Product details

  • Actors: Keira Knightley, Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield, Izzy Meikle-Small, Charlie Rowe
  • Directors: Mark Romanek
  • Writers: Alex Garland, Kazuo Ishiguro
  • Producers: Alex Garland, Allon Reich, Andrew Macdonald, Joanne Smith, Kazuo Ishiguro
  • Format: AC-3, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: R (Restricted) (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Fox Searchlight
  • DVD Release Date: 1 Feb 2011
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 188,120 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



In adapting Kazuo Ishiguro's celebrated novel, director Mark Romanek (One Hour Photo) and screenwriter Alex Garland (Sunshine) transform dystopian fiction into period drama by presenting an alternate past in which people routinely live beyond 100--at a cost to those who make it possible. In the 1970s, Kathy (Isobel Meikle-Small) and Ruth (Ella Purnell) attend Hailsham, a British boarding school where Miss Emily (Charlotte Rampling) holds sway--and no one ever mentions their parents. When new teacher Miss Lucy (Sally Hawkins, Happy-Go-Lucky) arrives, she reaches out to the awkward Tommy (Charlie Rowe), with whom Kathy becomes close--until jealous Ruth steals him away. Then Lucy reveals what will happen when they leave. By the 1980s, Kathy (a poignant Carey Mulligan), Ruth (Keira Knightley), and Tommy (Andrew Garfield) live in the country until they're ready to fulfill their purpose. With Ruth and Tommy an item, Kathy becomes a carer, a sort of social worker. Over the years, the three go their separate ways until the 1990s, by which point their time will run out unless they can arrange for a deferral. Throughout, Romanek never presents alternate points of view; the audience experiences this brave new world only through the eyes of its sheltered protagonists. If the story raises issues that recall Orwell, the unhurried pace echoes The Remains of the Day, Merchant Ivory's Ishiguro adaptation. Similarly, Never Let Me Go is a work of great skill and compassion, but make no mistake: it's also very, very depressing. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A disturbing theme yet a beautifully told story 22 Feb 2012
My own interpretation of this story is one of an alternate reality in which the life expectancy for the masses has been dramatically increased by creating a two class society, with the underclasses being bred simply to donate their vital organs when they reach adulthood to serve the majority.

I saw it as a what-if story that was very effecting with some profound insights into what life might be like if you were living as one of the underclasses knowing you had a limited time before the donation of a vital organ killed you. It's not a story of the horror of this situation, it's a story of a few people who know what their deaths are for, trying to find out what their lives are for.

This film is dissimilar to the dystopian stories of Logan's Run or Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 in that there isn't a figure fighting against the system as in Ewan McGregor's Lincoln Six Echo in The Island, or Christian Bale's John Preston in Equilibrium. Instead the two class system is accepted without a rebellious uprising, similar perhaps to that told in Gattaca.

To that end it is a cross genre tale focusing more on the love triangles that develop during adolescence and less on the science fiction undertones of a reality we all hope could never be allowed to exist. I would recommend this film to anyone who can enjoy a slower paced film who's willing to think about the issues raised and doesn't need the plot spelt out for them in dialogue.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haunting and quite brilliant 8 Feb 2012
I watched this DVD the other day without having a clue what it was I was going to be watching, and have been unable to stop thinking about it ever since. I've bought the book and started reading it, and it's even better.

I'm not going to give a synopsis of the film because if you haven't seen it or read the book it will completely spoil it. Suffice to say it's quietly shocking and the horror of the situation dawns on you slowly - it's certainly not an uplifting film, but it is a thought provoking one.

I thought the cinematography was perfect, the locations were perfect, and the understated acting perfectly suited the tone of the story. There are no great dramas, no real action, no displays of emotion, and given the subject this lack of passion is all the more disturbing.

I have seen on other reviews that people who have read the book are often disappointed with the film and this leads them to not recommend it, but I would say the opposite - see the film, think about it, then read the book.

I wasn't going to write a review because I'm not much good at it, but I've been so affected by the film that I had to say something, and it's not often a film can affect me so profoundly.

The one negative note is Keira Knightly and her daft expressions. She's perfectly cast as Ruth in many ways, she just needs to get her gurning under control.
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70 of 75 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Shining stars of British talent. 21 Jan 2011
It's often very difficult to separate a book and the inevitable screen adaptation. I'm always uncertain if it's a good or bad thing to have read the book before seeing the film, or if they should be taken into account as two completely separate entities. With Never Let Me Go the film is strong enough and the performances sure enough for it to stand alone.

Based on the book of the same name by Kazuo Ishiguro (I've copied and pasted his name to make sure I spell it correctly) it follows three characters through the process of growing up, falling in love, and then going through the tough ordeal of being used as organ donors. It's a rather Sci-Fi concept, set in a very English environment, with stunning landscapes of a country boarding school, Norfolk cottages and gorgeous countryside.

Kathy, Tommy and Ruth all grow up together in a facility that care for "clones" that will be, in later life, used for their vital organs for everyday people. They are kept away from the outside world, are not taught any life skills, and just encouraged to keep fit and healthy and enjoy the wonders of art and poetry. It is these three characters that we follow throughout the film, finding out their expectations, emotions and eventually the questions they ask themselves about what their life boils down to.

The three central actors, Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield and Kiera Knightley are on great form, and their ever complicated love triangle draws you in to this wonderfully crafted drama. It doesn't shout, it doesn't insult anyones intelligence and it enthrals the audience in the journey of these strange but wonderful characters, in this strange and wonderful life they have been given.

Wonderful story, beautifully shot and terrifically acted. A film that will make you think about missed opportunities, the fragility of life and the chances that we have to make it what we want.
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54 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ONE OF MY TOP TEN MOVIES OF ALL TIME 14 Feb 2011
Never Let Me Go is a movie based on a novel by one of my favourite authors, Kazuo Ishiguro.

The plot focuses on three characters: Kathy, Ruth and Tommy, who become entangled in a love triangle. It has the usual themes of love, jealousy and betrayal, but what is different about this particular story is that the central characters are "clones" which have been created and raised solely to provide donor organs to transplants. The film chronicles phases in the lives of the main characters.

I must challenge some of the points made in other reviews. Firstly, this is not a science fiction movie. Indeed, the director, Mark Romanek, said that he did not make Never Let Me Go a science fiction film; instead he was doing a love story with fictional science context mixed into the story. He goes on to describe it as a "love story where the science fiction is this subtle patina on the story."

Secondly, some reviewers question why the central characters - the "donors" - passively accept their fate and not rebel and run away. Romanek explains that this is not the story the author wanted to write. The story is essentially about behaviour and acceptance and examples given are where people stay in marriages that are abusive or unhappy or people stay in jobs that they don't find fulfilling. Another example is how people who have terminal illnesses don't suddenly go on a world cruise or bungee jump off a bridge, they usually stay in their routines. Arguably the fundamental reason may be because Mr Ishiguro was born in Japan and in Japanese culture it's considered heroic to perform one's service to the greater good of society.

Finally some reviewers appear to be disappointed because there is no action. This is a movie based on a Kazuo Ishiguro novel.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars I like it
Published 1 day ago by El.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
brilliant film, I loved it
Published 1 month ago by Ms. Rosemarie D. Evans
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark, depressing drama but with Andrew Garfield so yay!
I bought this film for one reason. And one reason only. And that reason would be: Andrew Garfield. Ever since I first clapped eyes on him in Boy A I have been transfixed by him. Read more
Published 1 month ago by BigAl82
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Film
Absolutely brilliant film.

A mixture of science fiction & drama. A film based on events that may occur in the future. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Sam Andrew Babington
3.0 out of 5 stars but sad in places
A bit slow in places. A weak story line, but sad in places.
Published 1 month ago by Mr Men
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful stuff
Very powerful book/film reminded me of "Brave New World" or "The Island" but more believable as they are set in 70's UK. Well worth watching/reading.
Published 2 months ago by Dorsetman
2.0 out of 5 stars too weird
I went to watch this with a date and at has to be said neither of us had any idea what was going on. It was actually quite awkward to sit through it
Published 2 months ago by luked
3.0 out of 5 stars AN OK FILM
Published 2 months ago by Stephen
4.0 out of 5 stars Something different
I had been wanting to see this film for ages - if you like unusual or quirky you'll enjoy this
Published 3 months ago by Ally2
5.0 out of 5 stars good dvd
this film is one of the best ive ever seen and would recommend to others suitable for all the family grat for a night in
Published 4 months ago by paul
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