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[Movie Review] - The Giver

The Giver by Lois Lowry

Title: The Giver
   Director: Phillip Noyce
   Author: Lois Lowry
   Release Date: November 27th, 2013
   Rating: 7.5 Out of 10

     In a seemingly perfect community, without war, pain, suffering, differences or choice, a young boy is chosen to learn from an elderly man about the true pain and pleasure of the "real" world.

From the Book:
     Jonas' world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear or pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the Community. When Jonas turns twelve, he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.


     The Giver was a unique movie that frankly surprised me. It's been a long long while since I have read the book for High School. I didn't know what to expect and frankly I wasn't anticipating this movie at all. Looking at the numbers for the week I was sure that Expendables 3 would do really well this week and boy were we all wrong on that front. The Giver did well figuring the huge blockbuster it went up against (for opening movies that is).

     I want to take a quick time-out and say one thing, I was one of maybe three or four people in the theatre on Sunday I don't care how bad or good a movie is, I find that rather sad, whether the movie wasn't advertised as well. I frankly didn't see The Giver at all on TV and while I don't watch much TV at all, but what little I do I was looking for info or something about the movie. Also there was no hype or expectation to this movie. Maybe I am wrong about the expectation, but I don't think anyone thought this movie would be worth going to see. I am going to say that this movie is going to be worth the matinee fee.

     Back to the movie, I understand that the book was heavy with similes and metaphors, and the bit that plagued my confusion was how would you convey those. They did this black and white filming and interjected some color. The part that stood out to me, was the part where Jonas is starting to "see" beyond and he sees the color in Fiona's hair. They filmed that scene in black and white, than just screened her hair in color. It was that subtle change and throughout the movie allowed you to see the world change in how Jonas views and sees the world around him.

     What I enjoyed the most about the book was the lack of action. It's a slow movie and while I hate how slow movies just don't show character growth, or give you anything to grasp onto. I found that the slow pace allowed you to get into the mind of Jonas, and see how this dystopia was so wrong. Had it gone any faster, I don't think the connection would have been as good and would have taken away from the movie. I loved how as the movie went you slowly questioned some of the believes you may hold and put yourself in Jonas' perspective.

     The Giver was a movie that I thought was underrated. It was great, the actors while I haven't seen them or any movies they have been in, did a fantastic job or taking their roles and making them their own. While I would have liked to see more action than just a simple bicycle chase, I understand that there wasn't a need to do it. However, the one part to add it and show just how much Jonas has learned or the memories he holds would have show the difference there. Being my own devils advocate, having not had more action keeps Jonas' innocents.

     This dystopia is conveyed so well and you get that feeling of hopelessness from Jonas. The government gives out daily injections, in which you think are for health and wellness, but as the story goes they are taking emotions out of the populus. What I like the most though is that as Jonas starts to understand the memories of the past, he begins to question the methods and daily life. You get that whole helpless, and the idea that no one really knows what's going on. Jonas understand than that if he goes beyond he can hope to give them some sort of understanding and help them see the world in whole and not just some plain bland landscape.

     If you are looking for a movie with action, this just isn't your movie. The Giver is a thoughtful movie that makes you question what you would do if you were Jonas. I love how they filmed the movie and the swapping around with Black and White with color. There is a lot of curious bits that Jonas goes through, I was curious if they made some of the colors more vibrant as he gains more understand of the world around him. This is definitely a great movie and by far one of my favorites for the year.
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February 21, 2015 at 12:04 AM

When reviewing the movie you have to forget the book, because the movies are always different then the books, due to visual content.

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