There are few things more honorable than sacrificing yourself in order to save a life. Like, for example, donating an organ to someone who needs an urgent operation, perhaps one of the most noble acts from a social point of view. That kind of altruism that should be common, although it is not the case and that is why many raise the possibility that the act of generosity becomes almost mandatory.
But of course, is there still nobility in the act if it is imposed, despite the good intentions? doIt remains altruistic if there is no choice on the part of the donor? In such thorny issues Alex Garland entered, an author little suspected of avoiding the thorny -and there is his recent ‘Men’ to corroborate it-. One of his most underrated science fiction works goes right into it, and you can see it on Disney +: ‘Never Leave Me’.
Garland is in charge here of writing the script, which fell into the hands of Mark Romanek, mainly director of video clips who was going to make his third feature film with this one. The screenwriter made an extensive draft when the novel had not yet been publishedbeing able to see it thanks to the author Kazuo Ishiguro, a friend of Garland and also the writer of the wonderful novel ‘The Remains of the Day’, which made for another remarkable film.
The story focuses on a peculiar love triangle, formed by Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield and Keira Knightley in the roles of Kathy, Tommy and Ruth respectively. The three spend their childhood in Hailsham, a seemingly idyllic but also restrictive British boarding school. But that is not the greatest darkness that the institution containsbut it will soon be revealed that all three are actually clones.
They discover that their purpose is nothing more than to be replicas of other individuals living in the outside world, and that they are the guarantee in case the originals need an urgent transplant in an operation where life or death is at stake. That’s why the boarding school tries to educate them to be as cold and heartless as possible, so as not to develop emotions that “normal” humans naturally have. But this trio escapes from that cold existence thanks to the unique friendship they develop.
‘Never leave me’: deep and emotional science fiction
Despite its enormous modesty in all aspects, from the budget to the setting, the film recovers several of the springs of the best science fiction. Romanek and Garland are in charge of completely taking care of every aspect of the development of the story, so that it continues to bring the profound reflection that the novel has, but the emotional aspects that make it a remarkable film are not neglected at all.
His great triumph is precisely do not fall into cheap compromises with the viewer towards the end. It remains firm in its style, without pulling excessively towards melodrama despite the fact that the story gives way to it and without falling into an explosive end of pure science fiction in which other tapes would fall.
‘Never abandon me’ manages to strike the perfect balance in its proposal, allowing its ideas about the value of life and the dehumanization processes that we carry out to avoid dealing with the cruelties that are committed. This interesting way of approaching these issues makes it one of the most interesting genre pieces of this century.