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Never Let Me Go (2010) [DVD]

Keira Knightley , Carey Mulligan , Mark Romanek    Suitable for 12 years and over   DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (123 customer reviews)
Price: £3.39 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Never Let Me Go (2010) [DVD] + An Education [DVD] [2009]
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Product details

  • Actors: Keira Knightley, Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield, Charlotte Rampling, Sally Hawkins
  • Directors: Mark Romanek
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 27 Jun 2011
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (123 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003SX0O7U
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,276 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

As children, Ruth (Knightley), Kathy (Mulligan) and Tommy (Garfield), spend their childhood at a seemingly idyllic English boarding school. As they grow into young adults, they find that they have to come to terms with the strength of the love they feel for each other, while preparing themselves for the haunting reality that awaits them.

Based on the best-selling book by Kazuo Ishiguro.


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
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A frightening possibility 18 Jan 2012
By Andrew
This is a superb film. I have no doubt that it will be seen as a classic of its kind. It is also one of the most profoundly disturbing films I have seen in a very long time.

The action takes three young people from the 1970s to the end of the century. They are clones created purely to provide donor organs for "real people". They are brought up in schools well away from the rest of society and are kept in isolation. The reason why is not explicitly mentioned, but it would seem likely that this is at least partly to ensure that they do not try to escape their fate, as they will be unable to function in wider society.

Shot in light and with backdrops that give the film a documentary quality, the story seems all too much a frightening possibility. The clones are referred to as "donors" and their inevitable deaths after too many organs are removed are referred to as "completion". The grisly work takes place in an identifiable national helath service. There is no violence; no panic or force used - at least on the surface.

The main character and narrator of the film becomes a "carer" ; a sort of social worker who offers help and support to the clones as they make their "donations". In one scene she brings a gift of a packet of chocolate digestive biscuits to a clone who is in hospital having donated an eye among presumably other organs. The sight of this pale young girl in bed with a bandage over her face in an otherwise empoty hospital woard is heartbreaking. She looks just like any sick youngster in bed bravely dealing with illness, until you remember that her eye has been removed for transplant - and not as an act of selflessness for a loved one, but simply because she is nothing more than a walking store of spare parts.
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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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poignant and thought-provoking 14 April 2014
By GrahamG
(This review is based on a TV showing by Film4. It is possible that the version they showed may have been 'ruined for television', that is, edited for the benefit of those of a more sensitive disposition).

I recorded this some time around Christmas 2013 when it was broadcast by Film4 as part of a 'SciFi phase' that they were going through, without my having any clue as to what the film was actually about. I was just thinking 'Keira Knightley, Carey Mulligan, in the same film. That'll do nicely'.

A few months later, I did get around to watching it. The film is basically divided into two parts, the first part where you have absolutely no idea what is going on, and the second part where, Oh Boy, you do, but you still just can't quite believe it.

Far too many people here have given away the secret that lies at the heart of the film, and by doing so have robbed prospective first time viewers of the gut-wrenching experience of finding it out for themselves in the way that the author and director intended.

I'm not going to discuss the revelation or anything that happens after it, but I just want to say that this is one of those films which lingers in the mind for a long time after you see it. Beautifully made, shot, and acted, this is not a film which is destined to make you feel comfortable or cheerful, and yet it is a film which everyone should see because it presents an alternative reality which is utterly possible, and although this particular version is set in the recent past it could just as easily be in our imminent future. In certain respects, we are already almost there.
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