The Giver – Movie 2014

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Since I’m a big fan of The Giver, I wanted to check out the movie adaptation of the book.  Meryl Streep plays the Chief Elder, and Jeff Bridges the Giver.

I’d say that the movie follows the book quite well, though there are some parts that have been changed and/or expanded.   The Chief Elder’s role and personality have been more fully developed.  Fiona is said to have volunteered most in the Nurturing Center (with the babies), when in the book it was actually with the old.  Asher’s career path is also changed–he becomes a drone pilot.  Jonas’ journey in  leaving the community has been expanded and changed a bit.  There are many other subtle changes to the story that I don’t really need to go into here.

The way in which the memories are transmitted was also changed, but I thought it was for the better.  It always seemed a little creepy to me that Jonas had to take his shirt off and lie face down on The Giver’s bed to receive the memories.

I liked the look of the movie.  It starts out in black and white, as the people in the community see things.  As the movie progresses, colors start to appear until it’s all in color.  I also thought the acting was pretty good.

If you’re a fan of the book, you’ll probably enjoy the movie.  Don’t look for an exact duplicate of the story, though.  The movie does its job of raising the question of the value of experience and memory in shaping who we are.  It made my eyes leak at the end.

Possible Objections:

  • We see an elephant being shot.
  • There is a war scene with people being shot.  It isn’t really gory, but it is disturbing.
  • Jonas’ father is shown euthanizing a baby.  Also quite disturbing.
  • During Jonas’ journey to get past the boundary, Gabe is seen crying and seemingly suffering.  That can be tough to watch.

Rated: PG-13

Rating: 3 1/2 Stars

Until next time…




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