Movie review: "Never Let Me Go"

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

While it seems fundamentally wrong to liken any movie to Michael Bay's "The Island," in the case of "Never Let Me Go," it's a fair comparison. After all, both films center around people bred specifically for their organs.

But while Bay's disastrous failure emphasized technology and explosions, "Never Let Me Go" is a quiet and subtle British film, focusing more on what it means to be human.

Kathy, Tommy and Ruth are happy playmates at a private boarding school, but things change when one of their teachers (an underutilized Sally Hawkins) lets slip that they're to be donors.

The trio seems resigned to their fate until they grow up (into Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield and Keira Knightley, respectively), leave school and begin hearing rumors about ways to defer the donations.

Director Mark Romanek, whose sole previous credit is the eerie "One Hour Photo," does well with the source material, a critically acclaimed book by Kazuo Ishiguro. He creates a bleak and dreary world that reflects the limited future of the three protagonists.

The film is not without faults - the narrative is almost painfully slow - but it possesses a beautiful intricacy that proves vastly more compelling than two hours of explosions.

"Never Let You Go"

Opens Friday

Grade: 3.5 stars