By Collin Mcdonald
As one of the most prolific stories ever written, The Giver by Lois Lowry has remained an extremely popular young adult novel for over two decades. I, along with many others, consider The Giver as one of the first futuristic dystopian society novels that paved the way for beloved modern day series such as The Hunger Games and Divergent. For starters, whenever books are brought onto the big screen, nine times out of ten the book version is the best. The Giver, falls into the overwhelming majority of novels that have remained victorious over their respected film adaptations. However, this does not mean that film shouldn’t get the credit it deserves. The movie did a successful job in capturing the essence of what this story stands for. Lois Lowry wrote this to remind humanity to never desensitize itself to natural feelings such as love, happiness, and sorrow. These feelings give meaning to our lives and taking them away would deprive our souls from what we are naturally supposed to experience. If the movie did not communicate this theme towards its audience, then I would without a doubt be writing a different kind of review.
One of the main aspects of the movie that differed from the novel was the fact Jonas (Brenton Thwaites), Asher (Cameron Monaghan), and Fiona (Odeya Rush) were depicted as 18 year olds rather than 12 year olds. At first, this adjustment to the story did not agree with me. In my mind, I always pictured Jonas as a pubescent boy experiencing life in “The Community” and attending “The Ceremony of 12.” However, I knew that the reality of this decision was something typical of Hollywood. By making Jonas the legal age of 18, producers would be able to create a storyline that incorporated more romance between Jonas and Fiona. I have to say, I didn’t mind this choice. As an open minded person, I found it fascinating to see what would happen if the original story had the romance that it lacked.
I also enjoyed how the Chief Elder (Meryl Streep) had a larger role in the plot. Meryl Streep did a fantastic job playing her character. I mean, she’s Meryl Streep! The 18-time Academy Award nominee always delivers. Seeing her and The Giver (Jeff Bridges) interact more with each other also added dramatic undertones. Additionally, Rosemary is interestingly played by country singer Taylor Swift. Even though the amount of her scenes are limited, she nevertheless does a decent job at playing the previous receiver of memory in training. Overall, this movie was not as amazing as the book, but it was still enjoyable. I recommend it to anyone who is looking for a pleasant movie to enjoy on a lazy Saturday night.
image © Walden Media 2014