never let me go.

i love this film. i felt transported to the 90s and then back again. There was something really special about this movie that is not totally describable. What I can say is that everything from the simple vision to the rich yet muted color palette brought a sense of heaviness and heartbreak to the storytelling. The cinematography was wistful and thoughtful… This was seriously some of the best camera work (Adam Kimmel) I’ve seen in a really long time. There was a lot of handheld but it wasn’t distracting, it just felt real and purposeful but not gratuitous. The reason I mentioned the 90s earlier was because that is my favorite type of filmmaking- the look, the stories, etc (Ashley and I call it “epic filmmaking”). However, the best part for me, is when you have elements of 90s cinema incorporating with modern filmmaking techniques so that you feel like you are watching a contemporary film. In any case, the film was beautiful. Luckily, I got to see a screening where the filmmakers did a Q&A afterwards. Mark Romanek (director) had pointed out that the palette had meaning: it began very rich in color and throughout the 3 different phases of “life” in the story, the color began to deplete. It was pretty brilliant in its subtlety. You never felt like you were being beaten over the head or forced to feel a certain way. Not only would I lend that to the “look” of the film but also the performances, driven by a great cast. First, I should admit that Keira Knightley was my big turn off to watching the film. I’m not a fan but she did pretty well in this role… Never seen Andrew Garfield before this and he was pretty good as well. But for me there was one stand-out: Carey Mulligan. Love her. I loved her since I saw her in An Education and I continue to enjoy her performances… I think she’s a true actress and it’s pretty refreshing in the current scene of model girls playing actresses. She played her character (Kathy) so well and with this quiet hopelessness that was very wrenching. Kathy can just sit there, listening to her cassette tape, and you are completely heartbroken for her. Mulligan is so talented. I see her career going in the path of Kate Winslet. She will be one of those that withstands the test of time. The other stand out member of the cast was the girl that played the young Kathy. Romanek mentioned that they scoured several schools and saw thousands of kids and this one girl in particular had never stepped in front of a camera before. She was phenomenal and acted and looked so much like Mulligan it was bizarre. Romanek said he achieved that semi-seamlessness between generation jumps by having the adult cast run through the children’s scenes so the kids could watch. I found that pretty impressive and an easier way to nail down that character/actor “aging” integration that is usually difficult to make feel believeable. The story is adapted from Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel, which is about clones who will one day donate all their vital organs. The adaptation (by Alex Garland) was supposedly very true to the book. At the Q&A both Kazuo and Garland were present and it was apparent that Ishiguro approved of Alex’s adaptation. Kazuo also pointed out that Garland was around while he wrote the novel so Alex felt a sense of ownership and connection to the book and knew he would later write it as a screenplay. What’s most interesting about the story is the fact that no one really runs away, no one fights the system or rebels against the path that has been set for them. When questioned about this, Ishiguro said that there have been many stories told where the slave breaks free of his imprisonment. He felt that it would be more interesting to see what would happen if the characters decided to stay and live it out- the bravery in that and what it would look like. I loved that. I felt there was true brilliance in that because it not only shies away from the many possibilities of the science fiction aspect but it really just hones in on what was actually important about this story: the characters. I think this film is definitely worth seeing but it is not light and it will leave you feeling maybe a bit hopeless… But that’s just my style.

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