‘Never Let Me Go’ Movie- A great adaptation

16 Mar
Image via IMDb

Image via IMDb

I read this book before I started blogging, but it’s stuck with me well. My book club read it a few months ago and that helped refresh my memory of the plot. With I bought a copy in advance of meeting Kazuo Ishiguro later this month, I decided it was finally time to watch the movie.

Things I Thought Were Awesome

The biggest thing that struck me was the little subtleties around how the doners were treated. We see the truck driver who is delivering the items for the Sale staring at the children as if he expects them to be abnormal in some way. We see the doctors performing the organ donations being very rough with both Ruth and Tommy during their operations. They’re not there to help the patients recovery and have a long healthy life. These little things made the world seem even more creepy.

Having Ishiguro as the executive producer. The movie had all the nuances (except one, see below) that I remember from the book. Even the parts about finding Ruth’s Possible, which I thought would be skipped, were included. I think he fought for his novel and it shone through well.

Picture from IMDb

Movie still from IMDb. See Bill/Rod on left.

Seeing Bill Weasley show up as Rodney.

Changes That Didn’t Really Bother Me

De-sexualizing Kathy. In the book, sex was very different from mainstream society because the children were sterile and had no religious ties to their ideas of it. In the movie, sex had the same connotations that it does in our society. Kathy wasn’t sleeping with other guys while she was in love with Tommy. The fact that Ruth and Tommy were sleeping together was highly emphasized, which I thought was strange. This did make the movie a bit easier to swallow and probably helped with the movie rating.

Tracking bracelets. I don’t remember this from the book but it helped explain to my husband why they didn’t ‘just run away.’

How evil Ruth was as a child. There was the scene with the horse toys which I think set the ground well, but the book illustrated much more how manipulative she was and how she made Kathy feel so inadequate so often.

Things That Were Taken Out and I’m Still Wondering Why

Looking for a new copy of ‘Never Let Me Go.’ I loved the scenes in the book of Tommy helping Kathy find a new copy of the song, but instead it was left out. I thought this was a romantic gesture on Tommy’s behalf; something he never would have done for Ruth.

Things That Changed Too Much

Madame seeing Kathy dancing with her pillow being replaced by Ruth. It changed this scene too much, from a moment Kathy thought might help her and Tommy get a deferral to a moment when Ruth decided to keep Tommy away from Kathy.

Overall Reactions

I thought this adaptation was really well done. I was running through everything I remembered about the book when I read it and when my book club discussed it and I can’t think of anything else that was missing. A great book turned into a good movie. I only wish I’d known about it sooner. It seems the UK release never really made it across the pond.

To those who have read this more recently, what did I miss? Anything you would add to my lists?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!


5 Responses to “‘Never Let Me Go’ Movie- A great adaptation”

  1. thatssojacob March 16, 2015 at 1:38 PM #

    Nice job on the review. I have not seen the movie, but now I want to. NLMG is my favorite of Ishiguro’s books, and I have read almost all of them. It’s probably in my top 10 favorite books list. I felt strangely drawn to Kathy, warts and all; she just seemed so human.


    • Sam March 16, 2015 at 1:56 PM #

      I wish this movie had been a bigger release outside of the UK. I’ve only read two of Ishiguro’s books but this one stuck out to me of all the books I’ve read. As you say, Kathy is so very human.


  2. Book Club Babe March 16, 2015 at 2:50 PM #

    Love, love, love this movie, and not just because I think that Andrew Garfield is one of the sexiest men alive haha! Never Let Me Go is one of my favorite books to re-read, and I definitely keep this film around for when I need ‘a good cry.’ Waterworks galore!


    • Sam March 16, 2015 at 3:34 PM #

      I was watching it with three men so I had to hold my tears! Great adaptation; I was pleasantly surprised with how little changed. Happy reading!

      Liked by 1 person


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