Never Let Me Go (Romanek, 2010)
Let me say this: If you don’t know anything about this film going in, it really enhances the experience. So to keep this shrouded in mystery (as it was for me up to the moment the reels started to roll), this review will be much different than most I do.
The brisk breeze of autumn turns our three main characters’ cheeks pink as they stumble through daily life as 4th years in their boarding school. The reds, oranges, and light browns dominate the screen and create an atmosphere as the sun seems to be continually setting on the nearly dormant green grass. The kids play, grow close to one another, start to discover the emotion of love, and even heartache. They grow older, and experience confusion about life and their relationship with the world. Two girls and one boy – one of the girls dates the boy, and the other girl watches hopelessly from a distance, despite being their best friend. Emotions emerge, often true, and only occasionally pushed too far. And throughout it all, images and sounds dance divinely, poetically drawing us in.
Then enters act III which is terribly flawed, but somehow eerily poignant at the same time. Though it’s soaked in obvious dramatic moves and plot, its coldness and inevitability still drape viewers in an extra layer of tense emotion.
Oh, and throughout the entire thing something lingers in the background. But this something, despite defining the film’s plot, mostly stays in the background, letting us experience the hardships of growing up as seen through three well-drawn individuals – three people encountering situations familiar to us all. 8.5/10