The kids at Halisham seem like you and me. Strike that. They seem like most upper class English prep school children that we know from fiction. But they’re a different breed altogether. The headmistress (Charlotte Rampling)rules the school with an iron fist, and rules must be followed – no exceptions.
Three of the students befriend each other: Ruth (Keira Kneightley), Kathy (Carey Mulligan) and Tommy (Andrew Garfield). Although Tommy and Kathy seem made for each other, Ruth, the strong willed one of the bunch, comes between Tommy and Kathy. When the secrets of Halisham and the circumstances under which the three are living become more and more apparent, and as they grew into adulthood, they drift apart even as their fates become intertwined.
The story is told through the eyes and the voice-over point of view of Kathy. And Mulligan reads these lines with that ever so English reserve. Soothing and expectant.
Carey Mulligan is very good here as she strikes a perfect balance between innocence and yearning. Ishiguro has imagined a tale of love, loyalty and loss. Credit the author for an exquisitely imaginative work, and e for a loving translation to the screen. It’s a lush film to look at, and one that will have you remembering these characters for sometime.