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.
A week ago, I was able to experience an advanced screening of The Giver. Of course, I couldn’t watch the movie without reading the book, so I quickly grabbed The Giver and started reading. I finished the book a minute before I sat down in the theater. Cutting it close, people! Don’t expect this to be a loquacious movie review (I’m not good at those) or overly sassy (Read: I enjoyed the book & movie TONS).
The question that is often on everyone’s mind when a book is adapted to a movie is: Was the adaptation carried out well? There have been so many failures in this aspect (Eragon, Percy Jackson, etc…) that it’s weird for a lover of Lois Lowry’s book not to be a little bit anxious about how things will pan out for The Giver. I’ve already looked at some of the critics’ reviews and they seem to be either loving it or disliking it. I haven’t seen any hardcore haters yet, but I’m sure there they’ll pop up sometime soon. What’s a good movie without some haters, huh?
I think everyone should go and see this movie. Some lovers of this book may be a bit disappointed by the small details that are tweaked and the Hollywood ending that The Giver is given (i.e. more suspense, action, thrill than in the book). Jonas and Fiona also have a more romantic relationship (as romantic as their structured, rule-abiding society will allow) in the movie, but the book already made it clear that they had the hots for each other. So, nothing new there!
The reader is able to read about the memories that Jonas receives from The Giver in the book, but I think that the movie really took advantage of showing people those memories. Yes, there’s a “life is beautiful” motif of the film that is heavily drawn upon, but I think that’s something that everyone needs to hear and re-hear right now. With all of the wars, deaths, and shootings occurring out in the big, wide world, don’t we need some reminding every now and then that life and love are precious? There’s a reason why The Giver is required reading at some schools; this book raises some very intriguing, interesting questions that demand answers.
From the perspective of someone that experienced loss and shock on June 5th as a student of Seattle Pacific University, I think I had a completely different viewing experience than that of my neighbors. And I’m sure my neighbors experienced something quite different than I did based on their backgrounds. Everyone will get something different out of this movie, but the main themes remain. Is life worth living without love? Is the pain of losing someone/something you love worth experiencing if you get to experience the joy of love in the first place? To know joy, you must first know pain.
As for a book review of The Giver, I’ll just say that if you haven’t read this book yet… you need to. And you need to read this book before you watch the movie. That’s a non-negotiable. 🙂
I was reduced to tears at the end of this film. It’s so easy to take the simple things in life for granted and I loved watching Jonas’ childish excitement over memories like snow and music. Life isn’t comprised just of joy and happiness, but also of pain; On the flipside, Jonas experiences war and loss. Apparently, Lois Lowry has stated that she believes the movie adaptation stayed true to the spirit of her book. I’d totally agree.
I’ve also seen some of you T-Swift haters (and T-Swift fanatics) freaking out about the fact that Taylor is playing Rosemary in the film. Yes, it is true. Yes, it is distracting. Yes, I can’t look at her without thinking of Joe Jonas, Lucas Till, Jacob Black (that’s his name, right?), John Mayer, poor Cory Monteith, Jake Gyllenhaal, Marius Pontmercy (AKA the lovely Eddie Redmayne), Zac Efron, Conor Kennedy, and Harry styles and the catchy tune of never ever, ever getting back together. But, take a deep breath. Relax. She’s only in the film for 5-6 minutes tops and, to her credit, she’s a fine Rosemary. It’s all going to be okay. You are going to be fine. You can always close your eyes if it all becomes too much for you.
And, the moral of this whole review is: I know movie tickets are way ridiculously expensive, but y’all should splurge a bit and see this one in theaters. It’s beautiful and moving. Out of my love for all of you, I’m urging you to see The Giver.
NOTE: All pictures taken from Google. I do not own them in any way, shape, or form.