Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Never Let Me Go

With Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield and Keira Knightley cast as the three main characters, this film has inevitably attracted a lot attention. Do believe the hype!! Carey Mulligan is exceptional and Andrew Garfield is a close second. Keira Knightley is good too but I find it hard to see her as her character and not as Keira, the prominently jawed actress (sorry, Keira).

I was lucky enough to catch a preview of this at the NFT with special guest Kazuo Ishiguro - the author of the novel on which the film is based - who stayed for a half-hour Q&A after the film.

Having just read a review of the film in Grazia (which awarded three stars out of five), I thought I should set the record straight. During the Q&A portion of the evening, Mr Ishiguro himself said that any suspense in the novel was not intended and distracted from the key themes of his novel. This is why the film gives the game away very early on. Another reason he gave was that films, unlike novels, do not have the luxury of time and the audience would have been bored had the scenes at Hailsham been extended any futher. He also said that, on a practical level, they did not want to use the child cast for much longer.

The film makes it painfully clear that we don't have much time on this planet - all of us are subject to a time-limit. Despite this, Mr Ishiguro said that the film gives a positive perspective of human nature: in the face of adversity, Garfield still clings on to hope and won't give up. So, although at first blush it would seem I am sending you off to see yet another tear-jerker (sorry!!), the film does have positive messages if you look a little deeper - it should inspire us to make the most of the time we do have. Go see it - I give it 5 stars!!

Love, AB x

P.S. Don't worry if you haven't read the book - I haven't either. Given that Ishiguro said he didn't want readers to be caught up in the suspense, I am going to read it now without worrying that I've ruined it by seeing the film!

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