DVD REVIEW Never Let Me Go
Release Date: 27 June
2010 | 12 | 100 minutes | £19.99 (DVD)/£24.99 (Blu-ray)
Distributor: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Director: Mark Romanek
Cast: Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield, Keira Knightley, Sally Hawkins
First a warning. If you’ve managed to avoid the premise at the centre of Never Let Me Go thus far and want to watch the movie “cold”, look away now. This review will contain spoilers. After all, the idea that drives the plot is so integral to its DNA that it’s nigh-on impossible to talk about it without giving anything away.
If you’re still here, you won’t mind us saying that Never Let Me Go is about human clones created so their vital organs can be harvested to save other people’s lives. It follows the lives of three clones (Spider-Man, Sally Sparrow and Elizabeth Swann…) from childhood to their destiny on an operating table, and makes an interesting companion piece to The Island. While Bay’s blockbuster revolved around a similar premise, however, that’s where the similarity ends.
Where The Island was loud, action-packed and preposterous, this is quiet, stiff-upper-lipped and (mostly) plausible, a UK yin to Bay’s US yang. But in focusing so closely on the by-the-numbers relationships between the central trio, the movie skirts the more interesting questions the story poses. Why do the clones accept their fate so readily and without question? What would an alternative UK where people are bred and killed for the benefit of the masses be like? And why don’t the authorities take all the donors’ organs out in one go, rather than subjecting them to prolonged suffering as their body is brutally dismantled over a series of ops?
Never Let Me Go is so scared to admit it’s SF that it misses the beats that would make it genuinely intriguing. It’s a shame because this could easily have been another Children Of Men. As it is, you find yourself yearning for The Island’s slow-mo explosions – which isn’t something you get to say very often.
Just a featurette with the cast yakking, a gallery of director Mark Romanek’s on-set photography, fake ads for the movie’s National Donor Programme and a trailer.