Thursday, September 9, 2010


By D.E.Levine

Director: Mark Romanek
Writer: Kazuo Ishiguro (novel) and Alex Garland (screenplay)
Cast: Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield, Keira Knightly, Izzy Meikle-Small, Charlie Rowe, Ella Purnell, Charlotte Rampling, Sally Hawkins, Kate Bowes Renna, Hannah Sharp, Christina Carrifiell, Oliver Parsons, Luke Bryant, Fidelis Morgan, Damien Thomas et al.
Producers: Alex Garfield, Andrew MacDonald and Allon Reich
Executive Producers: Mark Romanek and Tessa Ross
Co-producer: Richard Hewitt
Original Music: Rachel Portman
Running Time: 104 Minutes
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Language: English
Genre: Drama, Thriller, Sci-Fi

I loved this film and despite some disparaging remarks I've heard from other reviewers, the film made me want to go read the book.

Director Romanek, an American, has made a name for himself directing typically British films and once again he excels.

The cinematography is absolutely beautiful as the lushness of the British countryside with its towns and estate houses are lovingly captured on film.

With a stellar ensemble cast, we follow three central characters through their childhood at a private school where we don't know until well into their lives that then children at this school (and others) have been bred and are being raised specifically so they can donate organs to individuals who need replacement parts.

They are living donors from whom organs will be harvested more than once, until ultimately they succumb to death.

It's a sci-fi thriller without the alien invasion. It's a love story between friends and lovers. It's a combination of beautiful, emotional, touching and poignant combined with horrifying, demented, warped and sick.

Romanek has brilliantly used different color palettes for the different decades of time, and those palettes reflect the life and emotions of the characters. The colors are soft and Romanek says he deliberately avoided primary colors.

The casting and performances are brilliant. However, to talk about the plot is to give away the story with its inherent twists and turns, which is unfair to anyone who wants to see the film with a fresh unbiased view.

It's enough to know that the story, written by Kazuo Ishiguro, who also wrote "Remains of the Day" is unusual and mesmerizing, beautifully expressed and definitely something that will make each viewer consider his/her own mortality and the relationships within their lives.