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Never Let Me Go: The clone wars

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A fairly good movie that had greatness within its grasp, Never Let Me Go, based on the acclaimed novel by Kazuo Ishiguro, uses softcore science fiction to jump-start its tale of an Earth in which cloning became a reality decades ago. The result is that people are now being produced specifically for the purpose of donating as many organs as possible before death takes them away; three of the young adults facing this dreadful fate are imperturbable Kathy (Carey Mulligan), impetuous Ruth (Keira Knightley) and impressionable Tommy (Andrew Garfield). Perhaps mindful of its British setting, director Mark Romanek outfits the entire picture with a stiff upper lip, never allowing for any variations of tone and counting on the material to jolt the audience into emotional awareness. It's an interesting gambit that's only partly successful, respecting the viewers' intelligence but too often reducing the capable actors to blank slates and the story line to a glass that's only half full.

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