Cold, Heartless Bitch
Radiation Level: Toxic
Listening To: Never Say Never by Romeo Void
Went to see the movie NEVER LET ME GO with RosieGirl yesterday. (SERIOUS SPOILER ALERT! Read on at your own peril…) Reviews have been so-so, but all my friends have been desperate to see it. One friend even said it was beautiful. I was interested to see two of my favorite actresses Carey Mulligan and Keira Knightly, as they are always doing interesting stuff. And damn, who doesn’t like a dystopian fable about clones? Uh, well, I guess that would be ME.
RosieGirl LOVED the movie and cried through nearly the entire thing. Me? Well, I chuckled a few times. I loved the music and the cinematography. I guess I just didn’t get it.
To be fair, I didn’t read Kazuo Ishiguro‘s novel, which can either be an asset or a liability going into a film made from a novel. In this case, I think it would have been an asset because there was some story elements that I found confusing. The biggest was this: I assumed that the reason the futuristic society used clones for organ harvesting is because the original human (from which they were cloned) wouldn’t have any problem with organ rejection. That the clone was made specifically to benefit its original and everyone had their very own clone. But actually, that didn’t seem the case in this story. From what I gathered, a clone’s organs went to anyone (and every non-clone) who needed them to extend their life and live disease free. So if organ rejection isn’t the issue, why clones at all? Or why not make multiple clones from one very healthy person and not a bunch of random people? I’m assuming the clones were sterile, but that doesn’t make sense if reproductive organs are being harvested. What happens if a clone gets pregnant? Why send them to boarding school and educate them? It seems more likely they’d live on a factory farm, like cows and chickens, with keeping costs as low as possible while they waited to be slaughtered. As you can see, I never got past the premise.
(FYI: For my money, the film DIRTY, PRETTY THINGS did a much better job with this subject matter)
So, I began to look at NEVER LET ME GO as a metaphor. Do these clones represent human slaves doomed to a life of serving cruel, greedy humans? Or do they represent all the animals and primates we’ve tortured and experimented on to advance medicine? Then, as I shoved nacho cheese flavored popcorn with “layered butter” into my mouth, I stumbled onto this thematic question: what does it mean to be human? In the film, the question arises as to whether or not clones have souls. Then that begs the question, do humans have souls? I can’t answer this and neither can the film. What I can tell you is that I would most likely be one of those people willing to harvest a clone to extend my own life beyond 100 because I’m petty, selfish and scared as hell of the big sleep. Does that mean I’m soulless? Probably. Does that make me human? Indeed.