Someone should start a blog about thought-provoking movie quotes . . .
Movies. I love them. An original plot, a few strong actors and/or actresses, fitting cinematography. For me, that’s a good movie. But I can’t forget the movie’s ability to provoke thoughts. Thoughts I’ve maybe never had before. Issues I hadn’t seen the other side of. Ideal movie viewers must ask themselves the very questions that the characters are faced with.
I recently watched the movie Never Let me Go, which is based on the *novel of the same name by Kazuo Ishiguro (Remains of the Day). By way of summary, the movie is about three young adults who’ve grown up in a British boarding school that serves a very distinct group of people: clones created for the sole purpose of donating their organs shortly after they become adults. After the fourth donation, these individuals “complete,” in other words, die. The movie follows not only the coming-of-age of these three characters, but also their romantic interests and confrontation of their inevitable deaths.
One scene in particular, I watched over and over again. In this scene, one of their more caring teachers decides to tell them outright what is always hinted at in the boarding school but never stated: that they were born to die. Here’s her speech:
“Do you know what happens to children when they grow up? No, you don’t, because nobody knows. They might grow up to become actors, move to America, or they might work in supermarkets, or teach in schools. They might become sportsmen or bus conductors or racing car drivers. They might do almost anything.”
The teacher goes on to explain that they’re not like normal children. Since before they were born, their fates were chosen for them. The mystery of what they will become has been stolen away from them.
Doesn’t it make you think? Doesn’t it make you wonder what the children you know will become? Maybe they’re always playing with toy cars, or reading books about insects, or playing teacher. But the great mystery of children is what they will become, and only time can solve it.
*I originally thought the name of the novel was Remains of the Day, but that was a different novel by the same author.