The Giver

I watched the movie The Giver, last night with my sister and I instantly knew I’d have to write about it at some point.

The summary reads: This film, based on Lois Lowry’s book, tells the story of a perfect world. Everyone here is happy. When Jonas is 18 years old, he’s chosen to be the community’s Receiver of Memories. He enters into training with an old man called ‘the Giver’ who would give Jonas memories of the “real” world that the rest of the community is hidden from. From the Giver, Jonas learns not only of love and family, but also of pain, war, and all the unhappy truths the world holds. He quickly realizes that his community is fake. Confronted with this reality, Jonas faces difficult choices about his own life and the futures of many people he’s become close to.

Essentially, the film is reminiscent of many other book to movie transitions in the past few years in that it is aimed towards the YA genre, and follows the ideas of totalitarianism and dystopian universes, such as The Hunger Games and Divergent. From the reviews of those who have read the book, I have discovered that it was never aimed at a Young Adult audience and that quite a few changes were made to have the film appeal to an audience who already had an appetite for such genres.

The storyline, while quite simplistic, drew me in and left me feeling as though I’d learned something and opened my mind by watching the film. The film caused a personal experience for me. There was one line, “Feelings are fleeting. Emotions are much deeper, more primal, they linger.” which hit me quite hard. I feel as though this movie, in which nobody has true emotions, and are constantly berated with “precision of language!”, where the word “love” is not classed as precise, but must be dissected into feelings of pride and appreciation, made me increasingly thankful that we live in a world where we are lucky enough to have emotions, and mindful that we often dismiss them. My mindset has adjusted since watching The Giver, not dramatically but enough that I have felt a shift. It has been interesting.

Cinematically, I found it to be a very average piece. There was nothing overly elaborate in technical effects and there was no real wow-factor moment throughout the film. It was still however pleasant, easy to watch and my interest was held relentlessly throughout. It piqued my interested enough that I plan to read the book, however I simply refuse to compare the two.

The Giver is a movie I would recommend to others, however probably wouldn’t rave about. A good simplistic movie that didn’t feel like a waste of time.


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