The last film I’ll be reviewing for lesser-known dystopian films is Never Let Me Go, a movie my wife recommended watching for the week. First off, let me just say I don’t consider this a dystopian film…I’ll talk about that a little later in my review, but as good or bad as this film is – it’s not dystopian. I was interested in watching this film, however, as it sounded nearly identical to the plot of The Island, but done in a more dramatic and almost calm way…which is hard to explain. The Island was very futuristic while this feels more like it takes place in the past…just with modern scientific advancement…if that makes sense. Let’s talk about the plot.
This film focuses on the lives of three friends, who from birth, knew what their purpose in life was – to be organ donors, that they will basically donate their organs until they “complete”, or die, which is typically early in adulthood. This is because they are essentially clones, being harvested for organs. Unlike The Island, their organs aren’t on held for their originals, but really for anyone that needs them, as long as they are a match.
So, the first thing that crossed my mind in this film was most obviously the plot of The Island, which is a movie that I love. Logically thinking, I feel like The Island makes most logical sense. It makes more sense to harvest the organs for the originals, as there can be no better match than that. Also, when you learn you’re being harvested to give your organs and die and that’s it, that should incite fear. So The Island had our friends running and trying to escape from that doom, while this mostly had people accepting their fate. I don’t care how much you try to brainwash people, the fear of death will always be one of the biggest primal fears people have. No one would logically just accept that as a part of life. I know I’m comparing, and I really shouldn’t, but I can’t help but think the former film understood human nature a bit more than this did, but I digress.
PEOPLE SCORE – 9/10
Acting – 2|Characters – 2|Casting – 2|Importance – 1|Chemistry – 2
Alright, so this was a pretty substantial character-focused film. So the acting was amazing, the characters were memorable, the casting couldn’t have been better, and of course, they all worked so well together. I wouldn’t necessarily say everyone in this film had an important role to play, though. They all have their moments here and there, but nothing substantial. They all sort of bummed me out, because they were all basically robots when it came to accepting their fates.
WRITING SCORE – 6/10
Dialogue – 1|Balanced – 2|Story – 1|Originality – 1|Interesting – 1
Alright, so the writing could’ve used a little help. The biggest strength the film had was probably the balance of the story, which really was about following this group, this romance between them, and their impending doom. Everything else was subpar, though. Nothing about the dialogue stood out, I can’t really pick out anything the story is trying to tell us since survival isn’t even on there…maybe just typical romance stuff? It’s not original, as it reminds us of The Island, and it would’ve been more interesting if the clones were actually afraid or tried to freaking run, or at least consider it? Sigh.
BTS SCORE – 8/10
Visuals – 2|Directing – 2|Editing – 1|Advertisement – 2|Music – 1
Behind the scenes was a little better. It looks nice, visually speaking, the directing was impressive in some scenes, and it was a movie that was as advertised. Nothing about either the editing or music really stood out, but that’s okay.
NARRATIVE ARC SCORE – 7/10
Introduction – 2|Inciting Incident – 1|Obstacles – 2|Climax – 2|Falling Action – 0
Next up, we have the narrative arc score, which wasn’t as good as it probably should have been, but it was okay. The introduction had us meeting our three main characters and their development as they learn what their purpose in life is. The inciting incident wasn’t evidently clear, but I believe it was when then they really found out that they were going to die, and when it stuck in their head. The obstacles were lame, but they definitely were there. The climax wasn’t terrible, as it stood out as the most important part of the film, but the falling action was both short and stupid (in my opinion)
ENTERTAINMENT SCORE – 5/10
Rewatchability – 1|Fun – 1|Impulse/Buy – 0|Impulse/Talk – 2|Sucks Audience IN – 1
Alright, so how entertaining is it? Well, I would say it’s sort of rewatchable if we saw it was on TV sometime and we tuned in. I think it’s fun to watch sometimes, but boring at other times. I have no impulse to buy it, though. That being said, the logical point behind everything did make me mad enough to want to talk to someone about it, because I do see that as important. Finally, it sometimes sucks the audience in, but not nearly enough.
TOTAL SPECIAL – 35/50
Romance – 10|Dystopian – 0|Sci-Fi – 5|Drama – 10|Halfway Decent – 10
Onto the specialty questions written before the film. First of all, this looks like a romance film, and romance film it is. The romance in this film is definitely one of its strongest attributes, as it feels real, and the actors all have great chemistry there. My wife said to watch this for dystopian week, but it isn’t dystopian. Nobody really hates the world they are in. At very most, it frustrates them, but they accept it as whatever. Science fiction? I would say partially, but most of the sciency parts are overlooked and skimmed past. The whole cloning thing is very science-fiction, but they barely even confirm that they are clones. The drama, on the other hand, is definitely pretty focused on, and I would consider it halfway decent as well.