The Giver (2014)

I’ve been a fan of this book since I first read it back in the 7th grade, so I was excited to hear that it was being turned into a movie. I know that Jeff Bridges had for years wanted to make a film version with his Father, Lloyd Bridges playing The Giver, but no one wanted to make movies based on books written for children in the 90s. This first incarnation of the film languished in Developmental Hell for years and years. Since the movies of other YA books have been made and were pretty successful it was time to make the grandfather of all of them into a movie, the script was tweaked and Jeff Bridges was no longer directing but taking over the part of The Giver.

The movie ages the characters up six years from 12 to 18 and it really doesn’t change the story at all, perhaps even deepening it a bit. The Giver is set in a utopian world where everything is the same, there is no war or weather or color among other things. Jonas and his friends have reached the age where they are given their jobs in the community, at the ceremony Jonas is selected for a special role in their community, The Receiver of Memories. Jonas goes to the previous Receiver, who has now become The Giver and he begins to receive memories of time past. Receiving the memories changes Jonas as he begins to see in color unlike everyone else in the community and begins to realize that the sameness is really a hindrance and their society is really dystopian. Jonas wonders if the memories can be given back to everyone in the community. Jonas tries to teach some of the things that he has learned to his friends and “family.

The movie doesn’t go that deep as the book does but I felt that it was a stellar adaptation. I think the book and movie offer a unique take of society as a whole and could actually address our own world today. One of the big things is are emotions and faith necessary for society to function. In the world today we tend to hide our emotion, try our hardest to be just like everyone else, and have little faith in other but is this a good thing? Another thing has to do with memory, are joyful memories as useful as sorrowful ones does knowing about love make knowing about war less gruesome?

If you’ve haven’t read the book it is a decent movie and is emotion filled, It has a great cast Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep are both in it, and it does a good job explaining things, why the Community was built. If you have read the book I think that you will be able to appreciate the movie as it mostly stay faithful to the book but many reviewers have said that the movie lacks the depth of the book. This is what is expected when they enlarged several parts .


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