Ishiguro’s film forces us to consider the inevitabilty of our mortality and how we chose to pass the time before completion.
I saw two film recently over two days. One was the preview of Never Let me Go and the other was The Way Back, based on the book “the Long Walk”
During Never Let me Go I was wondering why the children didn’t try to escape. I was expecting this to happen, but they never did. It seemed unlikely and abnormal for the characters not to at least try.
But during the questions after the film Ishiguro explained that he believed the majority of people accept their fate and live their lives acording to what the norm is .
I could understand this, but it wasn’t till I compared it with the The Way Back that I realised how Hollywood has conditioned us to accept that we will try to escape and usually succeed.
Having grown up on thrillers such as The Great Escape, Escape from Alkatraz, Shawshank Redemption, Papillon etc. I have come to accept that the norm was that we would always try to escape or die in the attempt.
The Way Back is in this way typical, but we see at the beginning of the film, the thousands …millions? of other prisioners, who chose not to try to escape from Stalin’s labour camps
So once you think about about it, escapes are not the norm. The vast majority of prisoners do not try to escape . The children in Never Let me Go are prisioners by their conditioning and they have no knowledge of any outside worlds. So, like the vast majority of prisioners, they stay with what is familiar. Even if it is unpleasant or life threatening.
Interestingly Never Let me Go is listed in the top 10 escape movies.