NEVER LET ME GO
hopscotchee: domhnall gleeson score: 74 rating: R time: 103 minutes
two things!! one, as easy a's woodchuck todd likes to say, hip-hippy-happy birthday andy g-force (just our personal nickname for andrew garfield)!! it's a bummer that reviews don't come out on fridays. we know your b-day was technically yesterday, so sorry for a late one, but, as our honorary hopscotchee for tomorrow's movie, 99 homes, we wanted to, nonetheless, wish you the hippiest of happy birthdays!! as for the second thing, we also want to say a big thank you to everybody who joined our first livestreamed commentary on this lil diddy, never let me go. we had so much fun getting to walk you through 30 minutes of how we watch movies and what we clock during them, and we sincerely really hope you had fun too!! as for anyone who didn't or hasn't gotten the chance to watch our commentary, you missed out on uz literally freaking the flip out over this movie, not only for the sophisticated shot comp that we noticed right from frame one or the drinking-game-like obsession for every time we mentioned the 'color palette', but the sinisterly shocking plot twist that literally had uz shook.
now, the jury's still out on whether our deep rotted fascination for little things like the opening frame of their movie being completely yellow before fading to the title text or the boarding school's worn out bolts on the door, is because we're easily obsessed teenagers or because we're aries (hashtag fire sign fan club, anyone?), but, if you ask uz, we think it's just because we freakin' llllllooooovvvveeee film!! and c'mon, how can you not just gush over the textured green backsplash in the kitchen or the perfectly smoothed out sand, so andy g-force could perfectly make little footprints as he ran on the beach. but what really makes these background decorations really gushy is how they play their own part in telling the story. centered around a group of adolescents, never let me go deals with being trapped in a life that you've been raised to live. but like how they say a joke isn't funny if you have to explain it, film is also like that. although, we're not saying that the story, in this case, is funny, if the script had to take time away from the plot to explain how lack of choice and freedom were fundamentally a part of the characters' childhood, the movie wouldn't be as interesting. that way, instead, demonstrating these restrictions through the bare walls and dreary, subdued, grey-toned color palette, is incredibly important for the movie's overall storytelling to keep the suspense of the mystery alive while simultaneously keeping the audience in the loop to not make the film feel disjointed. really to put all of that in one sentence, set designers are the biggest of team players, so good on all of ya!!
moseying on over to shot comp, it's just not fair. you gotta warn people before you just go and plop a freakin' gorgeous, indigo blue sun-set, night scene right at the hype of emotions when (spoiler) all hope and possibility of an escape is shot dead. especially when andy g-force screams his guts out in the middle of the road, positioned so perfectly he's flamming in a bright white outline from the car-headlights. and sure, one could say 'they just got lucky' and happened to capture that stunning sky, but we would argue, politely of course, and prove that theory wrong, because what you don't see is the dedication, timing, and cinematographers kicking butt behind the scenes!! while it seems seamless thanks to the editors, switching back and forth from the medium shot of carey mulligan in the car and the wide shot of andy g-force out on the street, it requires at least two takes, so the cameras don't get in each others angles. though, splitting up scenes means that everyone on set has to get the shot down before the sun does. this is specifically critical for continuity, because it can be really jarring and hard to convince an audience that two scenes are happening simultaneously when one's lit and one's pitch black. that's why the precision to execute multiple takes for a scene during the same second the sky is the same color is greatly impressive and deserves to be credited for the insane effort put in!! so, sure, they were technically lucky to manage their time efficiently, but it was by no fault or lack of effort that that scene was as beautiful as it was!!
okie dokie, now before we let go of this movie and hopscotch on over to 99 homes, it doesn't feel right to not mention andy g-force. after all, it was his birthday yesterday. and man, was he yyyyooouunnngg in this film!! but age never held him back...serving up mad taste for talent, andy g-force dished out a serious cup of impresso espresso. sticking boldly to his school boy character, the wonder and naivety that he put into tommy with heavy consideration of his sterile upbringing, elaborated on andy g-force's already well known knack for 'living as the character' rather than 'acting as the character'. although we've seen him go into deeper, darker, and more intense characters over the years, his commitment to each role, no matter how big or small, has always played a core value throughout his career and has made him as charming of a actor as he is a charming brit!!
so, despite the fact that we were only viewers and not actual characters alongside kathy, ruth, and tommy, the twisted love triangle and retched time clock had us attached to these characters like veins to organs just to tag us along for the ride and donate our hearts to the story that is never let me go.
the questions is now, will you survive your first donation???
-- thanks, irish crush xo