Picture this: there is a society consisting of children who were “created” in a laboratory in order for them to become donors. Now imagine you’re one of those children. You have no parents, and you can never become one. You exist to grow hearts, kidneys, livers and other useful organs, then die after too much has been taken away. “Never Let Me Go”, which is based on a novel by Kazuo Ishiguro, describes such a world. It’s 1978, and we meet three donor children, first when young and then later. Kathy, Ruth and Tommy, played by Carrey Mulligan, Keira Knightley and Andrew Garfield were raised in a progressive boarding school for donors. They play sports and form friendships like any other children, yet have no idea how different they are. They are never taught how to think for themselves nor they are exposed to the outside world. One day, their third year guardian Miss Lucy reveals to them the true nature of their purpose. We learn that there are “carers” and “donors”. Carers help the donors go through the process until it is their time to donate their organs. After several donations, one is said to “having completed” their purpose on earth (notice how the word “death” is never mentioned).
”Never Let Me Go” is by no means a science fiction movie. Sure the elements are there, but I never felt like I was watching one. It’s not a story about answers, nor even about cloning (though the dangers of reaching such a scientific breakthrough are well implied); it’s about our helplesness in the face of greater forces, and how death is imminent no matter what we do. It’s a touching love story in a world where everything ends eventually. But isn’t this the fate of us human beings aswell? We can shout and scream and try to defy those greater forces, but at the end of the day, the true measure of our lives is in the relationships we form, however they may end. “Never Let Me Go” wants to stick this idea in our minds, and does so brilliantly.