In a vaguely dystopian alternative present (Never Let Me Go opens in 1978 and ends approximately now), a bunch of uncanny little children grow up cloistered in an austere English boarding school called Hailsham. They're told they're "special," encouraged to make art and keep their bodies healthy, and corralled safely within the grounds by legends of gruesome murderers lurking just beyond the walls. "How do you know they're true?" asks a newly arrived teacher who is totally about to blow the lid off this bitch. The children can barely fathom the existence of the question. "Of course they're true! Who'd make up stories as horrible as that?" Every once in a while, a couple of men with a truck full of broken garbage show up and the kids flock to "buy" things with creepy little good-behavior tokens. It is all very not quite right.

The secret is that the Hailsham kids are clones created by the government from the tissue of ne'er-do-wells in order to provide organ transplants ("donations") for nonclones with janky livers and such. After graduation, they're sent out into the world—free-range clone kidneys!—where they're welcome to eat sandwiches, play soccer, look at porn, and fall in love for a couple of years before they die of not-having-lungs.

The story concerns three young Hailsham graduates—Keira Knightley (gauntly villainous), Andrew Garfield (Spider-Man!), and Carey Mulligan (awwwww)—struggling with the cognitive dissonance of being told you are not a person. The sci-fi setup sleeps unobtrusively behind the action—the clone stuff is just a means to get to novelist Kazuo Ishiguro's message. Never Let Me Go is really a story about friendship and jealousy and the cool ease with which humans dehumanize each other out of self-interest. It's a beautiful, sad, riveting movie.

HOWEVER. Some questions. You expect me to believe that there wouldn't be a clone-people civil rights movement before the ink was even dry on this cuckoo legislation? Is this a British stiff-upper-lip thing? Come on, clone people! Tip over a Dumpster or whatever you call it! The government is literally about to KILL YOU. Second of all, instead of having science invent human cloning to keep organs fresh for needy patients, why not just put them to work on a REALLY, REALLY GOOD REFRIGERATOR? Last time I checked, actual human people die all the time. Like literally all the time. Pro tip: USE THOSE ORGANS. Third of all, this is a ridiculously expensive program funded by my tax dollars. If I know anything about white people (not to brag, but I am kind of an expert), they would obviously get some poor brown people from some other continent for this shit! Come on!

But like I said, the story isn't the point. The message is the point. People are people. Legalize gay marriage. recommended