Never Let Me Go Lacks Life

Does the new film adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go live up to his novel? The story of three students, played by Keira Knightley, Carey Mulligan, and Andrew Garfield, at a boarding school with a dystopian twist we won’t spoil here, The New York Times’ Manohla Dargis says the fim compliments the way director Mark Romanek “reveals his secrets slowly and scatters his hints carefully,” but says “our emotional response to the slow-creeping horror will most likely soon die, snuffed out by directorial choices that deaden a story already starved for oxygen.” Dargis says Romanek’s style is too contrived. “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.”