What is it exactly that makes us real? Much of the objection to human cloning is based on this question. In the movie, “Never Let Me Go” the clones are created for a particular purpose. In this case they are “raised” to be healthy and when they reach their late twenties to early thirties they begin their donations. Ideally they donate 3 or 4 vital organs to “normals” before their donations are complete, and the clones themselves pass away.
While the story, based on the novel of the same name by Kazuo Ishiguro author of Remains of the Day, has a science fiction premise, the feel of the movie is very realistic. For the most part, the clones don’t give you that “creepy” feel the way the clones from Star Wars or similar movies do, and they are not supposed to. The clones have unique personalities, feelings, relationships with one another and their “guardians.” – non-clone teachers.
This particular story is narrated by Kathy H., played by Carey Mulligan, a “carer” who is guiding her fellow clones through the donation process filling a role much like a patient advocate in a hospital. She reflects on her days growing up at boarding school with her friends Ruth, played by Keira Knightly and Tommy, played by Andrew Garfield.
Kathy H. develops a particular affection for Tommy, a boy who gets teased for not being artistically inclined. The two are well on their way to forming a special bond, before Ruth, who is much more outgoing interjects herself into Tommy’s life and the two form a romantic relationship.
After graduation, the three hear a rumor that if two clones can prove they are truly in love they can delay their donations in order to have a few years together. Shortly after they learn of this rumor, the friends have a falling out and lose touch. Kathy H. becomes a carer, and starts training, and Tommy and Ruth go their separate ways.
Years later they are all reunited as Kathy H. becomes Ruth’s carer during her donation process. It is during this reunion that Ruth confesses that she only went after Tommy because she didn’t want Kathy H. to have something she didn’t. Realizing they are still in love, Kathy H. and Tommy begin going through the channels needed to have an extension granted, even though Tommy, like Ruth, has begun his donations.
Tommy has figured out that the key lies in their artwork – something Tommy has improved on greatly since his boyhood. The school has kept several samples of art in its gallery, which the two hope to use in order to prove their love.
The acting in “Never Let Me Go” is superb by the actors in all three main roles, and it is easy to forget that the situation they face is science fiction and not based in reality. It’s very relate-able to anyone who has ever felt like they were somehow undeserving of the things in life others take for granted. While I wouldn’t rate it a “must-see” in the theater, it’s definitely worth a rental.