It's a very tony fantasy of class oppression and fascist medical exploitation (themes that may speak louder in England), but it's a lyrically inert movie.
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The surface blandness does not efface, and might even amplify, its disturbing qualities. Never Let Me Go is not a movie about death but, more painfully, about the consciousness of death.
The stylistic conceit of keeping us entirely with the clones (so that we are as ill-informed as they are and never get to meet their powerful oppressors) only reveals what an empty-headed abstraction this tale was from both page and frame one
This is a moving and provocative film that initially unsettles, then disturbs and finally haunts you well into the night.
Alas, what's missing is the spark of life, the jolt of the unexpected - something beyond tears - to puncture the falseness of a film world, which, by its insistence on its own beauty, obscures the tragedy that the three characters, by their nature, cannot express.
The drama boasts a stellar cast, exquisite performances and a tense atmosphere. It is a film that the author's fans and lovers of mature, measured storytelling will embrace.
Just as its characters need a reason to live, Go needs a reason for audiences to watch. Neither find much satisfaction.
Expertly acted, impeccably photographed, intelligently written, even intermittently touching, the film is also too parched and ponderous to connect with a large audience.