Five Things Friday: Keira Knightley: 5 Best characters vs. 5 of her Worst characters

Keira

I don’t really like to hate actors or actresses online. Movies? Sure. I’d happily attack a movie if I think it was really bad, annoying or even just too stupid to deal with. But it is a bit mean to specifically attack a person, so I try not to do it too often, even though with some people it is tempting as hell.

One such an actress is Keira Knightley. She’s not a bad actress, she’s actually quite good, it is just that she has an ability to play deplorable personalities with aplomb, and you have to wonder why. Does she eat her KitKat by biting through all the sections? Is she secretly a Donald Trump fan? Did she vote OUT on Brexit? THERE HAS TO BE A REASON.

So for the lack of having anything better to do, I thought of five roles where I completely hated her guts, and then five roles where she was a perfectly nice, even inspiring, character. Read and share your opinions, I know you want to!

Best:

Begin Again – Her portrayal of a trusting songwriter girlfriend who leaves her life behind in England to travel with her singer boyfriend to America for him to make it work and then being cheated on is impossible not to commiserate with. Although she is determined to wear terrible outfits in this film, I really enjoyed how unannoying her character was! The soundtrack to this film is also amazing, I might add.

Pride vs. Prejudice – being Elizabeth Bennett is a tall order. This classic story was retold again but this time with Keira cast as the main female character, and she managed to be the perfect amount of feisty and well behaved that the character requires. The chemistry between her and male lead Matthew Macfadyen makes for some tingly anticipation throughout, and their old school romance is perfectly paced throughout the film. There is a sense of decency and restrained romance to this remake that spoke to my soul.

Atonement

Atonement is one of the most heartbreaking films I’ve ever seen. It served as a breakout performance for Saoirse Ronan, and this, combined with the genius of James McAvoy and Knightley makes for a despondent and dreary tale set in World War II. It is the very first time I really commiserated with her character and really rooted for her.

Pirates of the Caribbean

We can hate the franchise because it convinced Johnny Depp he can only be one character from now till the end of time, or we can like it because that first movie is really entertaining, and gave Knightley her big break into fame and Orlando Bloom something to do after being pretty Legolas. It is sad because it was reported that Knightley wasn’t allowed to use a sword in the film where all her male counterparts were fighting all over the place, but except that case of sever industrial sexism, the film is entertaining as hell and Knightley was on top form.

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

This movie got a lot of flak when it came out. I personally found it a bit forgettable but enjoyable, and KK plays the leading lady to Chris Pine’s Jack Ryan. I liked her – the character was very much unlike anything KK would usually play, meaning I didn’t want to beat her with a stick.

Worst:

Laggies

Okay, here we go. This character is AWFUL. The movie is marketed as a story about a quarter life crises, but let me tell you, I’m there now and hear me out when I say that I would not once live with a teenager and her dad when we’ve just met, cheat on my boyfriend, not have a job and be completely childish because being an adult is HARD. Sheesh, she grated on me. Not even darling Sam Rockwell made things better, because he was just a hollow character and the best actors on earth can only be marginally entertaining with material like that.

Anna Karenina

This movie confused a lot of people – me most notably. It this a love story? That’s not love, it’s selfish twattage.

Bend it like Beckham

The youngest version of Keira, and the movie that made her – I could have marginally enjoyed this is the character didn’t make absolutely everything about her.

Never let me Go

This movie about organ harvesting is about as cheerful as watching reports on the Yulin dog festival in China (to the Chinese, you fucking suck, BTW). Keira Knightley’s character is probably the worst, stealing her best friend’s love interest for the sake of remaining full of organs for a few years longer. Even though I commiserate with her plight, the character is awful in the film and didn’t endear Knightley to me one little bit.

Love Actually

There is the age old question of what to do when your husband’s friend starts having feelings for you? Do you 1) Tell the guy to get lost 2) Inform your husband 3) Ignore it and hope it will go away 4) Kiss him when he pitches up with a weird sign on your door.

Personally? I would pick one and two. Keira Knightley’s character obviously lacked insight and chose three and four. I just couldn’t deal with it. As like (hopefully) most human beings, cheating pisses me off. Badly. Why do it? DUMP someone when you have feelings for someone else, or work to resolve those feelings without messing with your current partner. It’s not worth it.

It certainly isn’t the only thing I hated about this movie, but it was definitely one of them.

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Movie Review: Never Let Me Go (2010)

Never let me go poster

My name is Kathy H. I’m 28 years old. I’ve been a carer for nine years. And I’m good at my job. My patients always do better than expected, and are hardly ever classified as agitated, even if they’re about to make a donation. I’m not trying to boast, but I feel a great sense of pride in what we do. Carers and donors have achieved so much. That said, we aren’t machines. In the end it wears you down. I suppose that’s why I now spend most of my time not looking forwards, but looking back, to The Cottages and Hailsham, and what happened to us there. Me. Tommy. And Ruth.

Plot:

In 1952 life changed for people. Life expectancy ballooned to beyond a 100 years. Fast forwarding, a young man (Andrew Garfield) lies on a table smiling at a woman behind the glass watching him. The woman is Kathy H (Carey Mulligan), 28 years old, and as the narrator for Never Let Me Go she introduces herself as a Carer.

Kathy H thinks back to her youth spent at a boarding school Halisham. The children at Halisham are freakishly well behaved and follow orders without protest. Young Kathy (Izzy Meikle-Small) is friends with Ruth (Ella Purnell) and Tommy (Charlie Rowe), a boy who is always being teased by his classmates, especially Ruth. The school children are encouraged to develop their art skills in the hope to get their work up in “the Gallery”.

The new teacher at school, Miss Lucy (Sally Hawkins) struggles to make peace with the children’s fate. She tells the children they are clones, destined to become organ donors in their early twenties, and will eventually die, or “complete” after an average of four organ removals. The next day the headmistress (Charlotte Rampling) informs the school that Miss Lucy has left, presumably fired because she told the children the truth.

Kathy and Tommy start developing feelings for each other, but Ruth intervenes and steals Tommy away from Kathy. Kathy is heartbroken but she doesn’t fight for Tommy back, and he doesn’t seem to be upset by the arrangements either.

A few years later the children are now teenagers, and they leave school to be rehoused in cottages on a farm. They are permitted to wander into town but they are still required to sign in with their bracelets every night. Kathy finds porn magazines and pages through them, and Tommy finds her but isn’t very shocked. Ruth (Keira Knightley) cruelly teases Kathy about this and Kathy is forced to listen to Tommy and Ruth’s lovemaking every night.

Kathy, Ruth and Tommy meat other clones from similar schools on the farm. They tell them that they maybe saw the person Ruth may have been cloned from, a “possible”. They all head into town to investigate but the woman only slightly resembles Ruth and she is upset and tells them they are all cloned from “trash” like criminals and prostitutes.

tommy and kathy

Another rumour running around is the possibility of “deferral” – a temporary stalling of donating your organs if you are deeply in love with another clone and can prove it. Tommy is convinced that the Gallery can see your soul through your artwork and that they can verify true love.

When Ruth and Tommy continue their relationship, Kathy chooses to become a “carer” for some distance between her and the couple. A carer is a clone who is given temporary leave to take care of donors who have begun their donating. Ruth and Tommy break up before Kathy leaves but she is already on her way.

Ten years later Kathy is still working as a Carer. By chance she sees Ruth again who is very frail after two donations. Together they find Tommy, who has also given two donations. Ruth asks them to go to the sea and they comply with her wishes. She asks them forgiveness for her selfishness in keeping them apart and that she always knew they were supposed to be together. Ruth gives them the address of the Madame, the alleged leader of the Gallery in the hopes that it can be established that Tommy and Kathy are in love and have some years together. Kathy is reluctant but agrees it is worth a try. Ruth shortly dies afterwards on the operation table.

Kathy and Tommy finally start their long overdue relationship. Tommy is weak from his donations but together they visit the Madame (Natalie Richard), who lives with Halisham’s old school principle. They tell them that the rumours of deferrals are lies and that there has never been such a thing. The Madame tells them that the Gallery was not there to look into their souls; it was to establish that they even had souls. Broken, they leave and Tommy asks Kathy to stop the car. He finally breaks down, releasing years of pent up rage and frustration. Sobbing, they hold onto each other, knowing their love is doomed.

Returning back to the first shot, Kathy watches as Tommy gets anaesthetised for his third donation. It is his last one and he dies during it. At the ending, Kathy is still alive, but plans to start with her donations as she doesn’t want a slightly longer life as a Carer anymore because Tommy is dead.

Rating: 6.5/10

Never Let Me Go was so strange. It was one of the movies where you want to ask at the end of it: “Really? That’s the end?”

It was based on a book and apparently well done so, but I was constantly waiting for revolution. Did they really not have souls? That is the only way I can understand people not fighting for their lives. They were indoctrinated, sure, but shouldn’t your survival instinct kick in when you know death is near? The doctors are removing your organs, dammit. I thought the three characters were displaying their souls constantly – Kathy was way too sweet and kind to be without a soul, Ruth was horrible and I think that requires a soul, albeit a black one, and Tommy displays his emotions the most and that obviously proves the existence of his.

The dreary English weather definitely contributed to the morose atmosphere of the movie. It was utterly depressing and yet strangely beautiful at the same time.

Carey Mulligan was again cast excellently as Kathy. She seemed innocent and well informed at the same time, not really seeking answers but open to them and so hopeless and accepting of her fate. I desperately wished for her to rip off her bracelet and run. Tommy was weak and very stupid to let Ruth ruin his life like that, because no matter how horrendous Ruth acted as Kathy’s friend, it takes two to tango.

I really, really dislike Keira Knightley. That insufferable pout is so annoying and the way she talks is irritating beyond belief. So, she was in fact excellently cast as Ruth because Ruth is such a horrible character. Ruth was selfish and cruel – if she really wanted a few more years because of the whole love defecting idea – Harisham had plenty of boys she could choose from, Tommy was NOT the only choice available.

I always get a little queasy watching movies of clinical trials / cloning / donating because they aren’t all that off the mark when looking at history. People will always find a way to justify their actions, and I am truly grateful that human cloning is still an impossible task. Never Let Me Go is obviously way out of the range of possibility, but I can’t help but wonder what will happen to the world, desperate for donors, when cloning is realized one day.

This is a deep, reflective movie about life and accepting death. It is not going to cheer you up after a bad day or make you feel positive about the hope for humanity. It is still excellently done and recommended for its’ strong message on life and the questionability of the ethics of the human race.