“The Giver” Review


“The Giver,” directed by Phillip Noyce and starring Brenton Thwaites (Jonas) and Jeff Bridges (the Giver), was a mediocre Hollywood twist to the classic, award-winning Lois Lowry novel.

As the movie opens, Jonas is just entering adulthood when he begins asking himself what he was meant to do in life. He feels that he is different from all of his friends and family; because of that he feels there is nowhere he belongs in his community.

The society that Jonas lives in is under extreme government control following a catastrophe that is referred to as “the Ruin.”  This is in order to protect the civilians, but it ends up stealing away freedom. Though there is no suffering or war, there is also no room for love, religion, emotion, or choice.

Because there is no recollection for history in the dystopian society Jonas lives in, all memories are controlled by the Giver.  Since Jonas contains all four qualities humans can possess (intelligence, integrity, courage, and the capacity to see beyond by the society’s elders), he is assigned by the elders to be the “Receiver of Memory.”

As Jonas begins receiving the memories, he realizes that his world is riddled with injustice and cruelty. To save the lives of those he loves most (as he- unlike others- has the capacity to feel emotion), he embarks to reach the edge of society to show all humans the truth about the world.

The movie contained many flaws. For one, rather than being in the midst of puberty as in the book, Jonas is instead eighteen years old. To many fans of the novel, this is somewhat destructive to the movie’s overall appeal. Jonas being on the verge of puberty greatly contributed to the idea of leaving childhood and mixing the responsibility of the world with the responsibility of figuring out who you really are.

Another large flaw was simply due Hollywood’s alteration of the film. Lowry’s novel never accounted for a heart-breaking love story; but the film did adapt it to the plot.

Despite its many literary errors, the film was rescued by an amazing cast and crew. The acting, above all, was the highlight of the film. Thwaites as Jonas, Bridges as the Giver, and Odeya Rush as Fiona only slightly account for the spot-on casting. On top of that, opening in black and white then later progressing to a colored environment added depth to the movie.

Overall, the movie was great. Although it may not have correlated well with the novel, the film was definitely successful. I would recommend the movie to anyone wondering how to spend a night out. On the whole, “The Giver” deserves four out of five stars.


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