x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

The twist gets lost in this adaptation

A rather disappointing adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro's novel in which the director Mark Romanek seems to misread what made the novel such a favourite.

Ishiguro's novel gets a weak adaptation. Courtesy Fox Searchlight Pictures
Ishiguro's novel gets a weak adaptation. Courtesy Fox Searchlight Pictures

**

Never Let Me Go 

Director: Mark Romanek 

Starring: Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield, Keira Knightley

A rather disappointing adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro's novel in which the director Mark Romanek seems to misread what made the novel such a favourite.

In trying to put his own stamp on the material, Romanek changes the emphasis of the story from one that delivers a shocking twist to a tale about how love can ruin friendships.

When the headmistress, played by Charlotte Rampling delivers a speech to the young children there is an air of familiarity about the British boarding school. There is a new teacher at school played by Sally Hawkins, but Romanek dismisses the talented actress before she has a chance to shine by having her reveal the novel's major plot twist far too quickly.

The pupils and the audience know they are not ordinary children and subsequently nothing much is made of this knowledge. The result is that most of the suspense that exists in the novel is lost in the film.

The action quickly moves on to life after boarding school where it's established that Kathy (Carey Mulligan) will have to live with the fact that her popular best-friend Ruth (Keira Knightley) has snagged the love of her life Tommy (Andrew Garfield). Kathy seems resigned to a life of unrequited love and her career as a nurse, looking after post-operative organ donors, loses touch with her childhood friends. Although the acting is first class, and the cinematography is great, it's impossible to escape the fact that the central love triangle feels dull and predictable.

Today, Emirates Palace, 6.30 pm; October 19, Marina Mall Cinestar 6, 6:45 pm.