This film 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. From the Giver, Jonas learns about pain, sadness, war, and all the unhappy truths of the “real” world. He quickly realizes that his community is fake. Confronted with this reality, Jonas faces difficult choices about his own life and his future.
Genre : SF
Country : USA
Brenton Thwaites : Jonas
Jeff Bridges : The Giver
Meryl Streep : Chief Elder
Director : Philip Noyce
“Everything is connected. Everything is balance. Where there is good, there is bad.”
And that’s how “The Giver” begins. In slight nondescript gray tones. For those who just start watching this movie without knowing anything about it, here’s a warning. Don’t check the color settings of your TV. There’s nothing wrong with it. It’s a colorless society where all the survivors live after the big disaster, which they call “The Ruin”. It’s an unexplained global disaster that ensured that the earthlings now live in a sort of commune. A commune where everyone obediently gets their medication injected every morning, so that they are protected from all those obnoxious human traits which lead to catastrophes. This society also gives you an Orwellian feeling. At the slightest wrong move or contact, an almost ethereal voice begins to admonish you. And as certain irregularities may happen, even a holographic projection of one of the elderly could suddenly appear in the middle of your kitchen. A peaceful society where the inhabitants are pampered in the superlative and walk through life like meek lambs.
Overall, I liked “The Giver“. It’s an enjoyable film and at some level even better than its predecessors. Brenton Thwaites plays the youthful innocence convincingly and the metamorphosis from a numb jaded person into a rebellious teen is beautifully executed. The general atmosphere and presentation of this future society was worked out beautifully. Even Jeff Bridges could fascinate me (more than in “R.I.P.D.“), although he sometimes sounded like a poorly lubricated lawnmower. The policies adopted in this seemingly conflict-free society and the way in which it was controlled, made me shiver with horror. In principle, the elimination of all the listed characteristics, made sure that no one is better or feels more than any other. And the hunger for power is non-existent. But ultimately the elderly are still superior and define the guidelines in this commune. Who determines that all these people are being spied on and an intervention is needed when someone forgets to take his daily suppressive medication or looks with a lascivious glance at someone of the opposite sex? And even though feelings are suppressed, I found it a bit perplexing to see that birth control or the elimination of members of a multiple birth, after determining who is the strongest, was performed in such a cruel and inhumane way. Even the most callous and apathetic person realizes what he’s doing.
The biggest letdown was the lack or total absence of any tension. The tension is as flat and colorless as the images used in the run-up of the story. And of course there had to be a bit of romance in it. The strongest elements were the interaction between “The Receiver” and “The Giver.” Fascinating, full of character and original. But for me the biggest asset is the fact that we probably won’t get a series of consecutive episodes. As an isolated movie “The Giver” is anything but a bad movie. It only drowns in a tangle of similar dystopian films. The approach is original, but the overall picture isn’t. And probably the book is way better than the film.
Links : IMDB