This is a movie I absolutely did not have on my radar. I saw a few stills, the dvd cover and it looked like some romantic something movie. Young people and their day in day out shenanigans. However… don’t judge a book by its cover. Same goes for movies. A friend rented the movie and we watched it today.
Storywise it’s settled in England over a course of 30 years. It is about a group of young people that grew/grows up in a special boarding school. Something about the school and how it treats the pupils feels a little odd. We see these kids grow up in this school. We also see that this school certainly doesn’t get treated too well and the kids live not a too privileged life. The movie, in the beginning, does a great job playing with the mystery of that school. Whenever people from outside come in, to do something at the school, they all have a sorry look on their face. Soon we learn that the kids in that school are no normal people. They were basically bred to serve as organ donors for other people. The movie follows three friends. Kathy, Tommy and Ruth. All three grew up together in that school. We see how they first learn what their purpose is. We see how they try to live with it. We see what their hopes are.
Kathy and Tommy become very close friends in school. They build a connection and obviously really like each other. Ruth comes into play and sort of steals Tommy from Kathy. Ruth and Tommy then have a pretty long relationship. Kathy tries to live with it and has a hard time. It takes her a while to cut the bonds and leave the group, to go her own way and leave it all behind. Soon after that, Ruth and Tommy break up. A long time goes by and by accident Kathy finds out that Ruth got picked for her second donation. They meet in a hospital and try to cope with the past. They find out where Tommy is and pick him up. Tommy has already spent an organ too and isn’t in best condition. Ruth opens up to Kathy and Tommy. She feels sorry for stepping between the two. Since, obviously, Kathy and Tommy are meant for each other. Ruth got an address of a woman that may be a chance to postpone any more donations for loving pairs. Kathy and Tommy, happy to finally be together, find the address and want to try their luck.
“This sounds like that Michael Bay ‘The Island’ movie!” – yes it does. The concept is the same… but the execution couldn’t be more different. I admit, the story feels cheesy. I have to say though that, the way it’s shot and played out, feels so natural. It feels realistic. There is no extra sugar coating to make it sweeter. It shows how things normally tend to go in life. That includes painful missed chances, opportunities and not having enough time. It’s a quiet movie. Many things happen in the faces of the actors. The story doesn’t need too many words.
Kathy (Carey Mulligan), Tommy (Andrew Garfield) and Ruth (Keira Knightley) deliver some really good and believable performances. I think after seeing ‘Drive’ and ‘Never let me go’ I became a fan of Carey Mulligan. She’s a talent that is able to express such a scale of emotions with just her face. That’s almost a lost skill these days. She’ll make her way. Andrew Garfield, who’s now the new Spiderman Peter Parker, will hopefully not get wasted on too many big budget movies. He certainly got a range too.
So yeah, ultimately I’m all for this movie. It tells a nice story and keeps you interested in its characters. Yes, it leaves a few questions but I can live with that. You don’t always have to get answers for everything.
For me a 8/10