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The Giver Movie Review

Vaishnavi Mantraratnam, Staff Writer

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“From great suffering and great pain came a solution. Communities, where disorder became harmony.”

The Giver is a thought-provoking book that brings to light the flaws of a seemingly utopian society. This book, by Lois Lowry, is centered around the life of a 12 year old boy name Jonas who lives in a colorless world (literally and figuratively) where everyone has a rightful place in society. There is no pain in this world; there are no emotions. After his twelfth birthday, Jonas is old enough to finally get a job in his society. While all his peers get normal jobs, Jonas is selected to be the Receiver of Memory. This job requires the ability to “see beyond,” a concept unfamiliar to Jonas at first. The Receiver of Memory obtains memories, feelings, and colors, all which are integral to human life as we know it. After receiving both pleasant and horrific memories, Jonas understands how the world was before the communities. People had the ability to feel, to suffer, to love, unlike Jonas’s society. With his new memories, Jonas realizes that he must act before the people lose their last vestiges of humanity.

The news of a movie for The Giver was met with mixed reactions. Many people were excited to connect the text with the visual images of the movie, but others were convinced that the movie wouldn’t do justice to the book. Although there were a few differences between the movie and the book- Jonas was 16 in the movie but 12 in the book- most of the storyline stayed the same. But the director’s dilemma was obvious. How could a film portray the pain and suffering of a twelve year old? Films have historically bumped up the ages of its protagonists: the director’s of Ender’s Game chose a preteen to play a six year old.

In addition, there was an added element of romance that seemed cumbersome. The movie added unnecessary romance that held no value to the overall plot of The Giver. All in all, the movie was very entertaining and the memories that Jonas received were true to life.

If you like dystopian movies/novels such as The Hunger Games or Divergent or fantasy-like genres like The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, then you might enjoy The Giver. I rate the movie The Giver with a 6.5/10. John Green so eloquently captures the theme of The Giver in one statement: “Without pain, how could we know joy?”

 

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The Giver Movie Review