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Never Let Me Go [2010] Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1, Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Chinese, Portuguese, Spanish
  • Rating: R
  • Region: AB
  • Discs: 1
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • Blu-ray Release Date: February 1, 2011
  • List Price: $39.99

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Purchase Never Let Me Go on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:3.5/5]

Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG  thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:3.5/5]

Never Let Me Go, based on a novel from Kazuo Ishiguro (The Remains of the Day) is a quiet, solemn film that is an odd amalgam of drama, romance, and sci-fi. Directed by Mark Romanek, the film is a melancholy love story that tries its hardest to tug at the heartstrings, but may fall just short of its ultimate goal.

The film follows friends Kathy (Carey Mulligan), Tommy (Andrew Garfield) and Ruth (Keira Knightley) from their childhood in a seemingly idyllic British boarding school in the late 1970s through to their adulthood. Their school, Hailsham, has a dark secret – it is raising the children to be nothing more than organ donors, destined to live short lives.

From childhood the inquisitive Kathy and the misfit Tommy develop feelings for each other, but Ruth comes between them, making Tommy her boyfriend and keeping him and Kathy apart. But as they grow older, they become increasingly aware of the futility of their situation in life, and even more desperate to cling to what little love they have.

The film is set in a sort of alternate universe, an anachronistic place that seems to be suspended in a 1950s drama and the meditative score by Rachel Portman lends a sad, weightiness to the drama. Ultimately, however, suspension of disbelief in this unlikely love story becomes more difficult given the lingering questions that are never answered. For instance, why are the donors so resigned to their fate? Why do they not fight back or run away?

Never Let Me Go is an interesting story with an unusual twist and features riveting performances from Mulligan and Knightley, in particular, but it feels just a bit too far-fetched and restrained.

Video Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

Never Let Me Go looks excellent on Blu-ray. The film arrives in its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio in an AVC/MPEG-4 1080p encoding from Fox. There’s a thin layer of grain that remains consistent throughout and imparts an organic, film-like appearance. Textures in clothing and facial features are strong, shadow delineation is strong, and colors are warm and natural.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack sounds smooth and dynamic with subtle high frequencies and wide stereo imaging. The beautiful score from Rachel Portman is lush and natural in the mix, surrounds have a good amount of ambience and the dialogue is clean and intelligible.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2/5]

The video supplements aren’t very strong, but they are all in high definition and the making-of featurette is an interesting watch.

The supplements provided with this release are:

  • The Secrets of Never let Me Go (1.78:1; 1080i/60; 0:30.10) – This “making of” featurette includes interview segments with the actors and filmmakers.
  • Mark Romanek’s On-Set Photography (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 0:03.13)
  • Tommy’s Art (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 0:02.35)
  • National Donor Programme & Hailsham Campaign Graphics (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 0:01.58)
  • Theatrical Trailer (2.35:1; 1080p/24; Dolby Digital 5.1)

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

Never Let Me Go offers excellent filmmaking, strong performances, and a reference quality Blu-ray release, but the film could definitely have been a little stronger and more complete in its execution.

Additional Screen Captures:

[amazon-product align=”right”]B004EQAVFU[/amazon-product]

Purchase Never Let Me Go on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:3.5/5]

Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]

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