Thursday, October 7, 2010

Never Let Me Go (book) and The Town

Never Let Me Go (book) 
"Once I'm able to have a quieter life, in whichever centre they send me to, I'll have Hailsham with me, safely in my head, and that'll be something no one can take away." 
      I actually hadn't heard of the book until I saw the movie trailer for "Never Let Me Go" and the premise just looked so fascinating that I decided to pick up the book.  I wish that I had tried reading the book without spoilers b/c the first part of the book does such a good job slowly drawing you into their world and the whole mystery surrounding their childhoods at Hailsham, which at first just seems like an isolated boarding school, but the more you learn the less normal it seems with its odd traditions like the Gallery, Sales, and collections.  Paraphrasing Kathy, the protagonist, when they finally find out what they're meant to do, they aren't surprised b/c they've been told and haven't been told all their lives.

     "Never Let Me Go" is well written and it really captures what it means to grow up, especially that process of learning more things and realization.  It makes me think about mortality too and priorities and ethics and the age old question of whether ignorance is bliss or if it's better to know.  And it really puts a new spin on memories.  Arguably, by the time Kathy is narrating her story, the best years of her life have already happened.  It's sad and tragic but at the same time, these memories, these precious memories- no one can take that away ever and that in itself is a very comforting, optimistic thought.    

The Town 

Doug MacRay: I need your help. I can't tell you what it is, you can never ask me about it later, and we're gonna hurt some people. 
James Coughlin: ...Whose car we takin'? 
I saw this in theaters and generally liked it.  It's a solid movie.  You enjoy it while you're watching, cringe at a few of the more manufactured/deus ex machina moments, and then don't think too much of it after you leave.

The Town is about a small group of skilled bank robbers from Charlestown, Boston led by Ben Affleck's character Doug, the architect/master mind of the group.  The Town starts off strongly with a well coordinated, intense robbery.  You're at the edge of your seat until she reaches water and the main titles appear- it's a fantastic beginning and it's unfortunate that the movie never quite reaches the heights of the beginning sequence sans the other bank robberies which are all very well done.  The movie's really at its best (neat, intense, and taut) in the robbery sequences.