Writing, acting and direction all top notch. No one can do poise like Carey Mulligan, with her stillness, prettiness and quiet tragedy all rolled into one. We could obvious get into lengthy discussions about human nature, the cruelty of the world and various philosophical insights, but I'd like to limit myself to one bit of knowledge I picked up along the way, which is a documentary I saw some time ago that focused on the black market organ trade in the poorest places on earth, and how many people there are compelled through poverty to sell one or more organs. There was a scene featuring an Indian woman who had already donated an organ to raise money for her family, sitting on the back of a motorcycle, being driven to a clinic to donate another organ. The bleakness, the injustice, and the sense of immediate doom with which the characters in this movie lived is disturbingly true to life, as it turns out.
Sci-fi doesn't have to be lasers and robots of grand space operas. It's a genre that can test what it means to be human. Never Let Me Go is a quiet film about clone farms centered around a trio of friends at Hailsham, a prep school full of stories that turn out not to be true, where the elementary kids are regularly checked for defects and wandering beyond the gates is a death sentence. One girl wandered out and wasn't allowed back in so she starved sitting against the fence, the kids tell a new teacher, Lucy. Lucy tells them the truth of their future. She's quickly fired. They're raised in a world of euphemisms. They're not being harvested; they're Donors. And three or four times from now, they'll Complete. Keira Knightley quietly dies on the operating table and the doctors pull out her lungs. Hailsham was the last institution looking for the answer to a question no one was asking, and it seems they've been shut down. Do clones even have souls?
It has the exact kind of strangeness, of mystery, one could not go near, if s/he had not been born in Japan post Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I'm from the U.S. I'm shaking. I see Truman on TV. He is saying the insane, "If God had not wanted us to use the atom bomb, He wouldn't have given it to us," and I'm as ashamed now, as I was before this work of art. God, Muhammad, all insanity in a wild collision of souls! The lead actress is awesomely beautiful. (Caveat: American English watchers, use captions!)..