Few movies stir your thoughts even as they break your heart, but Never Let Me Go manages to do just this”and in the most poignantly understated of ways. In combining the ethical dilemmas of speculative fiction with the bittersweet beauty of star-crossed love, director Mark Romanek successfully translates to the screen the qualities that make Kazuo Ishiguro-s novel unforgettable.
This is a movie that deals with human cloning, but it is not a movie about human cloning. Romanek glosses over the gritty details, focusing instead on the broader issues at stake. Is it ever permissible to use one-s fellow humans? Do the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few? What constitutes humanity? As our understanding of science improves, such questions become more and more pressing, and Never Let Me Go does not shy away from exploring them.
What makes this movie timeless, though, is its treatment even more fundamental issues. Never Let Me Go ends with its main character wondering whether her life is so different from that of a “normal’ person. It is an odd moment; one-s knee-jerk reaction is to see her life as senseless and barren. A moment-s reflection, however, reveals that the questions that preoccupy her”whether life has meaning, and if so, what makes it meaningful”are the same ones that have forever troubled humanity. It is for this reason, if for no other, that Never Let Me Go is worth watching.