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  • jackgradis11 August 2014
    I know, I know, that score makes you want to hate on me already. First, let me say that I have read the book and really enjoyed it. It was thought provoking, emotionally engaging, and intelligent. Second, while I enjoyed the book, I am not passionate about it like some people are. So I went into the movie with a completely open mind, just wanting to experience the movie.

    First, the positives. Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep are fantastic as expected. Both bring wonderful layers to their character. Also, the use of going from black and white to color was used real well to demonstrate what the characters see. The film looks good and is acted well.

    Now my complaints. First of all, the setup of the supporting characters felt off to me. The society they live in have a certain set of rules that everyone follows because they were taught to their whole lives. But all the characters broke the rules multiple times in the beginning of the film. That takes you out of the overall feeling the movie is supposed to give you, the message it has to offer.

    Next, while the book got you emotionally attached to Jonas and what is happening to him, the movie falls flat. Their are certain moments that have to have the audience fully involved emotionally, but just don't. That is a big negative unfortunately, because you want to care, but the film is too lazy setting you up for the emotional blow.

    Finally, the pacing is way off. The middle part with Jonas coming to the realization of what is really going on, is rushed and he makes up his mind like that. That is the most important part of the movie, and sadly it is rushed. Then the movie slows down, and that leads to a VERY anti-climactic ending.

    Overall, if you are a die hard fan of the book, then obviously you should see it. Who knows, I may be the only one who doesn't drink the coolade for this movie. But the tone and storytelling are to sloppy and the movie fails to get you emotionally attached. So the result is a mediocre film for me. I still recommend you see for yourself, but just ask yourself: Did I love the movie or did I want to love the movie because of the book?
  • stefan-alev10 July 2015
    When I saw the title I asked myself what we give. When I saw the movie I asked myself what we have given up.

    The simple and clear message in the movie is what makes it interesting and good. I saw so many simple things explained in such a profound way. Things such as friendship, family, love, emotions, humanity.

    After all this is a great movie that shows what humanity is all about. What emotions are, how we see the world because of them. About what is right or wrong. What we sacrifice to create one Utopia. We see in this movie the good in people, but we also can see the cruelty that we are capable of.

    To be completely honest, I saw a little resemblance with another movie. Despite that, It is a movie that I wanted to watch again.
  • If you think that the world that George Orwell created in 1984 was a rigid one they were positively hedonistic compared to the society shown in The Giver. Playing the title role is Jeff Bridges who is called that because he has a very special duty to be the one entrusted with the memories of the past. The ruling body of the society has to be able to refer to the past to be guided in making decisions. But we can't have everyone knowing about lest they long for the good things of the past. It's all been abolished the good and the bad, conformity and sameness is the order of things. Color is not even allowed everyone wears drab clothing like they were in prison. The family is abolished, kids are born and then assigned to nurturers, women particularly go into that occupation and it is an occupation like being a plumber.

    A new group of young people are being given new assignments and young Brendon Thwaites sits eagerly awaiting his occupation. He gets the prize as he is chosen to be the Receiver of all the past knowledge from Bridges. His training is to telepathically connect with Bridges all the experiences of the past, the good and the bad.

    The use of color in film is never thought of this day, it's simply assumed that films now will be photographed that way. But The Giver takes its place along side Schindler's List and Pleasantville in using color sparingly and to make a point. Color comes into Thwaites world as it has been in Bridges' and the equation of knowledge with color is a point well made.

    When Thwaites decides that there's something more out there than what he's grown up with, society shakes. None other than chief elder Meryl Streep wants measures to be taken to stop Thwaites from questioning the order of things.

    Thwaits, Streep, and Bridges head a cast that tells a thought provoking tale of curiosity and rebellion and curiosity in seeking something better always proceeds rebellion. The film ends abruptly and I suspect there's some box office soundings being taken to see if a sequel is to be made. I hope one is, but if it's not The Giver can certainly stand on its own.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "The Giver" from the movies is certainly different from the original text, yet one can't be disappointed because it remains faithful to many of its elements. Looking at the incredible work done by the designers, one has to admit that this is a fairly accurate representation of what a sterile, safe, and totalitarian society probably would like in the future. The general population follows the rules automatically, with minor exceptions, and the illustrious leaders make sure their presence is respected and understood. People appear to be content.

    As usual, some people might wonder how some very substantial parts of the novel are dealt with in a very rushed manner when so much care was given to bringing the book to life, and this includes acting by most of the seasoned actors. Streep should be proud that her elder role can join her best work, and Bridges was born to play the unhappy title character.

    A much older Jonas is now the official receiver of memories in this society, and he's the hope that can restore stability to this utopia. It looks like the previous candidate wasn't able to handle the demands of the assignment. This is a crucial role in the book and relegated to a few minutes here, and mercifully so because it's played by a non-actor and couldn't probably hurt the movie.

    The Giver and Jonas meet to perform their expected duties. Here is where one can see that the Giver has specific plans. Somehow the lead Elder suspects this but allows the plan to go on. There's a tacit understanding of what is needed in the society, and in a parallel way, the Elder and the Giver have parted ways, though it looks like they were either very close or related in the past.

    Whereas the book allows you to meditate about what's happening to Jonas and his transition into "adulthood" is more traumatic because of what he discovers through the Giver's intervention, here the older Jonas still suffers through the sudden trauma of being exposed to the dark periods of man's history, it doesn't quite hit us with the pain of a 12 year old that suddenly has his beliefs shattered when he discovers the truth behind his perfect world and family.

    There are remarkable improvements as the world is graphically depicted so we can see how technology serves many purposes, among them the comfort, safety and protection of its inhabitants. However, it is very clear that the reins are tight, and this requires a special forces that spies on every aspect of its people. It's chilling to see when files are pulled how there's absolutely no privacy for anyone here.

    The casting is very good, giving us a coldly efficient Holmes, playing an official of some kind who fears that her family and her world are destroyed by chaos. Her husband is even more interesting because he's the softer of the two, but what truly astounds us is how he's unable to really bond with anything. He knows the expressions he's supposed to use, but they're robotic deliveries, and this is horrific to see when he deals with the problem of having to release one of the twins during his daily job.

    People might be either very pleased with the last scenes in the film when we see Jonas try to escape from his world to save himself, Gabriel, and eventually the rest of the world. The film makes perfectly clear that he somehow achieves his goal, but just like the book, there is a doubt that this is all wishful thinking or a dream because. Here we are next to the idyllic dream of his, a place where love, family, and warmth coexist peacefully, or don't they?
  • Everyone is judging this movie based on its accuracy to the book, which is understandable. I re-read the book 2 days ago, so it would be fresh in my head before viewing the movie for the first time. I absolutely love the book, and I had heard varying opinions about the movie (mostly negative), but I wanted to watch it with an open mind and present my own opinion. I must say: this movie is simply amazing. Firstly, the acting is top-notch: Meryl Streep and Jeff Bridges were perfect of course, but Brenton Thwaites and Odeya Rush also brought depth to their characters. I loved seeing Taylor Swift make an appearance in the film, and she gave life to a character who was only mentioned in the book. Katie Holmes and Alexander Skarsgård showed flawless acting in their supporting roles as well. The movie excelled in more than just its acting. There were so many powerful "chilling" moments, particularly with the portrayal of the memories. The contrast of the sensory-rich memories of the past with the colorless and boring Utopian community is what brought real depth to the film. My favorite aspect was the slow transition from black-and-white to vivid colors. My only true complaint about the movie is that it was too short. I didn't want it to end. As far as staying true to the book, there were minor changes, such as the ages of the characters and the career assignments, but these made sense. People must understand that when a book is adapted on screen, there are certain things that must change for viewing continuity purposes. I will say that, as always, the characterization was better in the book, and I was able to form a connection with the characters quicker with a written description. The movie jumped right into the plot, which was good for the pacing of the story, but this meant it took longer to really understand the characters. Having already read the book, this was not a problem for me. The overall themes and concepts (such as sameness, colors, emotion, and love), were portrayed ingeniously throughout the movie. As much as I love the amazing use of imagery in the book, being able to actually visualize the transition from a dull community to a vivid, colorful world was breathtaking. Also, without giving spoilers, the movie gives explanations to concepts in the book, especially with the "memory boundary" that separates the society from Elsewhere. The movie doesn't stray from the book, it just provides more clarity. Finally, I loved the ending of the movie. It gives more closure, and was even more satisfying than the book was. My overall conclusion is that this movie serves as an excellent counterpart to the book. The detailed characterization of the book and the sensory stimulating scenes in the film complement each other nicely to make one cohesive, stunning, and powerful story.
  • I have seen reviews comparing the Giver (unfavorably) to other teen dystopian movies like Divergent and Hunger Games. That's actually a compliment, the Giver is not more of the same stuff, The critics seemingly can't accept that people are smart enough to get the point of Lois Lowry's book, and that people aren't smart enough to enjoy, much less understand, a character study and a societal study. Mindless action, needless violence, and transforming robots are all absent here. I have a feeling though, that people are smarter than they think. The book has been popular for at least 30 years, why would people balk at the movie adaptation? The Giver is a project that has been in the back of every movie maker's mind for years, now it's here. Go see it and judge for yourself.
  • I am the kind of guy who likes a movie with morals, art, music and emotion. This is that kind of movie and it was a pleasant watch.

    Character & Development: The movie develops the characters well in my opinion. I like how the main character is not some celebrity hot shot that we are forced to love based on how they are in real life. Slow to start and nothing is rushed. Of course, it does not follow every detail from the book, but it draws the principles and ideals of it.

    Art: the style is done very well. Plain and simplistic as most dystopian societies are portrayed. As the movie prolongs, the art in the movie expands more beautifully. Watch the movie if you want to understand what I meant by that.

    Music: I enjoyed the music of this movie. Gave me chills since I love movies with great background music. Tingles everywhere.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    After The Ruin, a colorless equalitarian society is formed without memories and everyone follows rules established by the Chief Elder (Meryl Streep) and the Elders. The population uses drugs to stay happy and on the day of the graduation, the teenagers leave their childhood and are assigned to a career chosen by the Elders. Jonas (Brenton Thwaites) lives with his parents and has two best friends, Fiona (Odeya Rush) and Asher (Cameron Monaghan), and he feels different from his friends. He is assigned to be the Receiver of Memories and he is trained by his mentor, The Giver (Jeff Bridges), who gives memories of the world before The Ruin. Jonas learns emotions such as love and fear and the concept of family. When he discovers that the baby Gabriel that he loves as a brother will be eliminated, he decides to change his society but the Chief Elder will do anything to stop him.

    "The Giver" is a film with a story with and interesting premise about a "perfect emotionless society". The execution seems to be a combination of the black and white of "Pleasantville", "Brave New World" and the lack of emotions through the use of drugs of "Equilibrium" for teens. The result is a reasonable and forgettable movie, with poor development of the characters and situation. My vote is six.

    Title (Brazil): "O Doador de Memórias" ("The Memories's Donator")
  • Books are a means of allowing the imagination to unfold without a budget to hold back your creativity. Yet in Hollywood they are ultimately a means to write the next big blockbuster to draw people to the theaters. This weekend yet another adapted screenplay comes to life in the form of the Giver. Haven't heard of the book? Neither had I until about three weeks ago, so I was excited to see what this movie had in store. What were my thoughts on the film? Read on to find out.

    The Giver is not the most exciting tale, merely another story about a utopia where everything is controlled and all negative aspects have been eliminated. At the beginning of the movie, the pace is a little slow, a mere introduction into the world and all its endeavors. It is not until we meet the Giver (Jeff Bridges) that things begin to pick up and thing become much more interesting. The Giver trains his protégée Jonas (Brenton Thwaites) to take on his new job as the Receiver, learning the memories of the past in order to guide the future. While not the most unique story, this tale is interesting in the way it is executed as both cinematography and acting come together to make a fantastic presentation.

    We'll start with the cinematography and editing first. The black and white world hasn't been seen in a popular movie since the Artist, but this time we have sound to go along with our nostalgic filter. The lack of color sort of drains you of your emotions, which falls in line with the emotions of the town. As Jonas learns more about the past, things begin to change though and the developing team begins to subtlety introduce colors back to the film. It gradually adds excitement to the film, running parallel to the evolving story and characters within it, until the exciting, albeit downgraded, climax. Perhaps the greatest source of emotion though come from the memories that the two protagonists share. The directors selected great clips to entertain us with, starting simple at first and gradually diving deeper down the rabbit hole. Each memory brings about it a new set of feelings each further developing Jonas to make the choices he makes. Between each of these memories we have Jonas reintroduced back into the world, seeing it through different eyes as he contemplates the inner workings. Often these realizations bring back more colors, as well as further pieces of the puzzle to solve. It is balanced, and very good at teaching us lesson with the emotions that well up with each scene. Here I will warn you to exercise caution with younger minds, for some of the darker memories may be a bit too much, sad or disturbing, for smaller children to handle.

    Of course the camera can only do so much, and movies require actors to assist in bringing the players to life. Bridges is my favorite of the bunch, his rugged approach to characters providing the right gruff to make anything both funny and serious at the same time. His sarcastic delivery and straight to the point approach provides both entertainment and lesson, helping to alleviate the tension that builds up in the movie. Thwaites' chemistry with him is good, the boy not only reacting to the new memories, but also trying to handle everything that comes with them. While a bit overacted at parts, Thwaites manages to pull off the role well and was quite enjoyable to watch. While these two are the bread and butter of the movie, the supporting characters have some good acting to further enhance the story. The talented Meryl Streep brings the Chief Elder to life, not necessarily evil, but with evil like qualities she used to maintain order. Streep's voice was perfect for the role of a supreme leader, and her elegant features complemented the monotone suit well. Playing kind of the second in command is Katie Holmes, whose track record has been mixed in terms of acting quality. For this reviewer, she did a great job playing the stern mother, using her stoic facial features from the past to really bring a sense of threat and discipline. Holmes has played plenty of no nonsense roles and she slips right back into the role that both annoyed and impressed me at the same time. Odeya Rush is a very cute actress, who has a great talent for line delivery, executing her lines with the right emotions with the right emphasis. She does have to work a little on her voice breaking, because some her lines sounded more like whining than acting for me. Yet she does a nice job of changing out her acting style as the characters change. Even Taylor Swift makes an appearance in this movie, though her acting hasn't greatly changed from her earlier roles.

    To wrap this review up, The Giver is a thoroughly enjoyable movie by how fantastic the emotions are presented. This is a movie that does a great job at teaching lessons, and doing it without the cheesy dialog that often makes Facebook quotes. The combination of visuals and acting are some of the best I've seen in a while, and have not been overshadowed by high explosive special effects. Yet it is not the most exciting movie and has some stretches to accept in order to get the full effect. Is it worth the trip to the theatre? I would say not necessarily so, because there isn't a lot made for the big screen, though I'm not saying you are wasting your money if you do go see it. My scores for The Giver are:

    Drama/Sci-Fi: 7.5 Movie Overall: 7.5
  • I wasn't blown away by the film, the premise was good and had a great concept for a film however, felt it was a bit of a let down. This could be because everyone was raving about this film and maybe my expectations were set so high, it didn't live up to the hype I had heard.

    Don't get me wrong, this is a good film and one worth watching for the story line alone however, don't get too excited... that way you won't be too disappointed.

    The acting was pretty good, some big names and some new faces.

    Worth a watch but not worth the hype.
  • billygoat107128 August 2014
    The most obvious and cynical theory to come up with the existence of The Giver movie is the success of futuristic YA movies such as The Hunger Games and Divergent. Though, The Giver was never meant to be a YA book in the first place, and it's already a two decades old book that has been going through some controversies in the past. This movie is proof that Hollywood is just picking books randomly and turn them into movies to match the trend. The important question is does it stay true to what makes the story so great? Apparently not. Not because it's now starred with teenagers instead of twelve year olds, or it consists more action scenes. The film just hardly cares about the concept and gives more way to the corny clichés of the genre. The Giver does have a taste for a blockbuster, but the heart of the story is missing and that is definitely frustrating.

    The film introduces the story in the most typical way possible, which has the hero doing voice-over narration for the audience. It doesn't trust the concept either, so it has to immediately push the story to the familiar elements of the genre. This is not a new case, of course. Many young-adult novels with better narrative have been manipulated by formula. But the story itself isn't about a revolution or a love story, its main center is to rediscover the old natural world, no matter how beautiful and ugly it was, and contrast it to the new rigorous society that is peaceful yet terrifyingly naive. The relationship of Jonas with the Giver and unraveling through sociopolitical conspiracies is what makes it engaging, but again the movie doesn't have the love for that. Instead it uses its length more on the visuals where the director can do what he does best, which is to pull off some set pieces and grand designs. Unfortunately those parts don't do much to the story, it's nothing more than an exposition that is meant build up a thrilling climax that isn't and never meant to be thrilling at all. And to stay faithful to the source material's larger theme, during the chase at the last act, one of the characters ends up preaching out a sheer sentimental speech to the elders that feels terribly forced.

    How it created the communities looked cool though, with production and special effects that gives a spectacular sense of scale, and how the black-and-white world grow into colors is a fascinating watch, but I think those are the only things the filmmakers wanted to bring to life. Designing it as an action blockbuster doesn't necessarily sound like a bad idea, but skimming out the soul that made the story compelling is what tones everything down into another generic fantasy film. The acting is okay, as usual. Brenton Thwaites does have the looks of a hero, but he only leaves a few personality to the role, the most conspicuous one is the kid's curiosity. A more natural fit is Jeff Bridges who gives the gravity that should have been there throughout the film.

    The Giver may have the external vision; the events, culture, characters, and language stayed intact; but again, everything else suffers the same problem. The rich world it already provides is no more than a cool design, while replacing the unique narrative with clichés. And it's not good at one of its clichés either, the additional more focused romantic subplot is as underdeveloped as the others out there. There just isn't much love to the subtext, the movie is basically just fitting in to the era of young adult novels with bad politics and rebellion; but again and again the story is never about them. It's neither about the love story or the teen angst. Whatever point it tries to say, it would only lie at the idea, and the movie didn't spend much time to that. There is some interesting visuals to spare, but what's left here is just another bland teen fantasy movie.
  • Overall, The Giver was a good, quality movie. It conveyed an important message: we need the bad in order to appreciate the good. I definitely plan on buying it when it comes out on DVD.

    First, what I thought wasn't great about the movie: I thought the first little bit of the movie was rushed, as well as another segment later on. I also don't feel that time was conveyed well—almost a year passes from the beginning of the movie to the end, but the movie portrays it as just a few days. As a result of the time warp, we don't properly understand how love develops between the characters. We also don't see enough of Fiona's and Asher's development—they play key parts towards the end, but their actions seem out of the blue.

    Now, the good of the movie: Above all, this movie conveys what I think is a very important message about needing pain with joy. I also appreciated that they touched on the differences between simply "a family unit" and having a real family. The emphasis on love as overarching was also good and appropriate. I appreciated that the movie doesn't show details of the painful memories but still is able to convey a little of the sorrow from them.

    Again, I think this is a great movie overall. And I left the theater wondering, "Will we remember? Will we remember that love is worth the price of sorrow?" I certainly hope we never forget.
  • vibha10114 August 2014
    I went into the movie with high expectations after having read the book in high school. I absolutely loved the book and always imagined it to be a certain way. While some aspects of the film met my expectations in terms of visual delivery and execution of the novel, a lot of it did not. There were many scenes that I would have loved to see but were not included.

    As a film on its own, I found some of the acting to be lacking in emotions and conviction. I did enjoy Meryl Streep and the Giver, but the rest were very average. Some parts of the film felt slightly rushed, missing out on the true essence and meaning it could have conveyed. I did not feel as indulged in the film as I was in the book. Perhaps this was because I loved the book very much, but I feel it was also because the film lacked passion and depth. The overall message and meaning behind the story was not adequately conveyed as important scenes were not emphasized on and were rushed. Jonas's character development happened too quickly and we could not create a connection with any of the characters in the film.

    Overall, I found the film to be average. Those that have read the book will find it to be below expectations whereas others may enjoy it for the concept and meaning it attempts to convey.
  • "I know there is something more, something that has been stolen." It is choosing day and Jonas (Thwaites) is told that he is to be a receiver of memories. He meets The Giver (Bridges) and is amazed at what he shows him. Jones learns quickly that the Utopia that everyone lives in is not as perfect as it seems. After experiencing color and emotions Jonas wants to show everyone what he knows. The Elders are not happy with what is going on and they do all they can to stop Jonas, but he will stop at nothing to make everyone remember. I had no idea what to expect from this movie at all. I never read the book and only caught glimpses of trailers. I expected another teenager-y save the world movie so I sat down with pretty low expectations. I have to say that I was very surprised at how much I liked this. The easiest way to describe this is a combination of Divergent and Pleasantville. When you watch you will see exactly what I mean (as long as you have seen both of those movies). This is a great family movie and my entire family loved it. It is rated PG- 13 and I think it is because of one small part but you will not have to have your hand on the pause or fast forward button if you are watching this with your family. Overall, this is just a good movie that the whole family will enjoy. I give this a B+.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I shall start this review with the staple comment. I loved the book. This movie is awful. And I don't mean "they changed a couple of things and now I feel it is true to the original". I mean, they changed a lot, including the subtext, it has internal inconsistencies, and it is no longer the same story. I couldn't even stay to finish the movie, and below I will state where I departed. For this reason, I give it the score as low as possible.

    Please don't continue reading if you do not wish to be exposed to the spoilers below.

    To start things off, what is the first colour that Jonas sees in the book? Red, he sees a red apple. A little bit into the story, after they have described the setting of the community to help people understand what the world is like. A description they have skipped over in the movie, they just show funny shaped houses, funny shaped bikes and a futuristic community. Weird. And Jonas "always knew he was different" since he has been seeing green tree leaves... Well, that is a departure from the original. Not ruinous, until he then sees Fiona's hair and gets all moon-eyed at her. The impending love story crushes my hopes. Then, they skip RIGHT to the graduation ceremony and kind of blur over the sheer doldrums of the event, with a witty joke told by the Chief Elder who LIES to them, although she immediately comes clean. So lies aren't allowed except with humorous exceptions... Oh, and Asher the best friend is now a drone pilot, so that will explain how he and Jonas will fight for the girl, even though Asher has no feelings, so the jealousy he keeps showing is... well, impossible, but definitely present. The Giver starts sharing with Jonas (thankfully, the sled is the first memory) they choose to omit the poignant fact that the giving removes the memories from the Giver, so only the new Keeper has them. Then, as Jonas gets more memories, he tries to share them with the girl he is falling in love with... wait, that didn't happen and if it had, as a drone of the society, she would have turned him in. He also shares things with his sister and Gabe sleeps in her room because nobody realizes Jonas can calm him. The Chief Elder sees some of these interactions and becomes paranoid that Jonas is also reacting to the sharing of memories, just like Rosemary (who is now the daughter of the Chief Elder and the Giver). OK, I can go on and on, but I will skip ahead to where I had to leave the theatre. The Chief Elder sends her military police force after Jonas, then after the Keeper, whom they zap with their batons, something that shouldn't be acceptable in their anti- violence and war society and here is about where I left, as the Chief Elder directs Asher to fly a drone after Jonas to "lose" him, which seems an odd colloquialism for "gone elsewhere" that the story has used to that point.

    So all in all, the society eschews war, but not the chief elder (somehow), feelings abound even on the feeling dampening drugs the society takes, and people are fine with violence from the military police. Not the story of struggle against a world so absorbed in being the same that feeling and being different are something to hide until one can escape to freedom outside the community. It is now a horrible love story, a horrible love triangle, and a story of a mother who hates the father of the child she lost.

    What a garbage rendition. They should have let any of the other films with these plots continue to tell them instead of corrupting this story to the point of unrecognizability.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "The Giver" is one of my favorite books, my eighth grade self could feel the emotions of Jonas as he received his first memories, cringe as his friends became unscathed by murder, and in awe as he watched a colorless apple turn red. The movie explores the concept of losing touch with emotion- in a way that was better than I expected. I thought my fantasy of making "The Giver" come to life exactly as I had imaged it would take hold and send me wining about how "I could have made a better movie!" Well, it did give life to the book, although it was through different ways (like a kiss, the nursery for babies, or a punch)- ways that were more appealing to an audience visually. I do wish the red apple had been the first color to appear- oh well! I was a little sad at not keeping the sense of complete mystery as to what happens to Jonas's town after he crosses the border of memories. Also, frequent flashes of memories distracted me at times (like what am I watching again?), but they did give insight into Jonas's onset of new thoughts- the movie would feel bleak without them. It seems I left the theater believing in the necessity of feeling all emotions, and relieved for the fictional society of no memories having to deal with life itself! A thought-provoking movie I am glad to have seen. After all if you can't feel, what's the point?
  • Had I known Taylor Swift was in this movie, I might have been less enthusiastic about the film, however, I can promise you that any Taylor Swiftness on posters and in promo is all a marketing ploy. She has a tiny – if important – role in the film and has very little screen time. The real star of the show is Brenton Thwaites as Jonas and he's really quite lovely in his role as the compassionate and curious Receiver.

    The Giver film is competing against franchises like The Hunger Games, Divergent and even The Maze Runner. In order to give The Giver more teen appeal and to capture The Hunger Games/Divergent audience, the movie tried to be a lot that the book was not. The movie – despite being adapted from the predecessor of the modern dystopian trend – feels a little too familiar and cliché because it tries a little too hard to fit in aesthetically and tonally with the other YA adaptations. I wish the film had foregone the shiny technology additions and stuck with the utilitarian world-building of the book. I can also understand why the film producers chose to up the age of the protagonists and up the angst as well, but I'm not sure it really added all that much to the overall story except making it feel like another teen movie when it should've been so much more than that.

    Where the film did excel was in the cinematography and use of black&white and color. This is described well in the book, but the visual medium of film really brought this to life. I do think they could've done even more with that, although I think they were trying to stay true to the book here. I was also hoping for more of an emotional impact from certain scenes between the Giver and the Receiver in the film. Some of those scenes in the book are brutal and really broke my heart for Jonas. It didn't have quite the same impact for me in the film – perhaps because the character was older.

    The ending of the book disappointed me but the film managed to deliver a very similar ending in a way that stayed true to the book while also providing a greater sense of closure. Where I think the book meandered into allegory, the movie developed the plot and made a more compelling story overall, even if some of the 'science' of how all this was possible is dubious at best.

    A major highlight from the film for me was seeing the usually uber sexy and seductive Alexander Skarsgård playing a nurturing father figure who worked in the nursery with newborns while his wife – played by the petite Katie Holmes – was involved in politics. Seeing 6'4 Eric Northman – sorry, Alex Skarsgård – so tenderly caring for tiny babies really highlighted the gender dynamics and theme of equality in the book. It was a very clever casting choice.

    Overall, this movie was fine but not amazing. Given the source material and how beloved this story is I felt they could've done much more with it.
  • saw 'the giver' last night at the fathom events screening. It was my favorite book growing up when i read it in school and maybe the reason I wasn't horribly disappointed was because it didn't even look great from the previews. nonetheless, i watched the movie. having recently read the book in preparation for the movie, the first thing that stood out to me was how quickly they jumped into the memories. It takes about ten chapters of the book to get there, and the movie gets there in less than ten minutes. it cuts out all the build up of the book and depending on how you like the speed of your films, this could be good or bad. this could pinpoint to why the movie didn't completely work. the script was rushed. it is definitely a case of 'when good actors happen to bad scripts'. because of the nature of the script (or because the nature of the movie, who knows?) the actors aren't given much to work with. this may not be their fault as the whole point of the story is a dystopian society where they don't allow you emotions, but to watch actors have straight faces for 94 minutes isn't exactly a pleasant experience. it leaves you feeling meh about the whole thing as i did. shame.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    At its core this is a movie with a very worn out theme of Ubertypical American-ness: Communism vs Capitalism (the latter is often inaccurately labeled as Democracy or Market Freedom). It's about the choice between strong, oppressive(?) community values versus individual choice. Absurdistic forms of 'sameness' have been explored in Kurt Vonneguts Harrison Bergeron, and in every movie with alien beehive societies, which are thinly veiled mockeries of communism. For example, the aliens in Starship Troopers and Battle Star Galactica.

    A more individual society, or one with strong communal values, well, both have their ups and downs. The world of the Giver is bland, but safe and secure. There's joy, happiness. People know what to expect. At the same time, there's little choice. Your job is state-assigned, but to be fair, it's what the person is most competent in.

    Our world is less secure, but we have choice and color. We also have much unhappiness and pain.

    It's a little like Northern Europe+Canada vs America. In America, the potential for wealth is theoretically at least stronger than in Europe, while the potential for poverty is very strong. In Europe, it's harder to get mega-rich, but it's not easy to be poor either. And what Americans are starting to realize is that while we're told that we can be a millionaire at any moment, it's not happening for 99.9 percent of Americans.

    If the question is asked "would you give up security for freedom"? most liberals would think of the Patriot Act and say NO. But the Sameness world of the Giver is so peaceful and beautiful, even I as a liberal, am strongly inclined to like that world, because unlike the real world, the collective centralized government is functioning extremely well.

    The cheap shot that Lowry and the film take is the black and white gimmick. With that gimmick the film wants to drive home (with a ten foot baseball bat) that the Sameness society lacks in color and individuality, it's all black and white. That's pretty cheap.

    Conservatives are by definition quite hypocritical about all of this, they preach government hate, but don't mind abusing government to impose their values upon others, they will gladly use government to enforce vaginal probes (which is actually rape) in Virginia. They will sell this movie as the ultimate argument against "communism" but strongly support the communism that still exists in Utah. There's no real difference in oppressive social controls via religion or via the state. For all intents and purposes, rank breaking Mormons will pay a high price to be different, and the same goes for every so-called Christian town/state. Mormons can't really leave their church, because they have strong business ties to their community.

    While this is a decently made movie with good acting, pretty actors, and nice graphics, I find that the message of the movie is flawed because of the easy potshots it takes on the Sameness world: "Oooooh, a highly government run worlds will lead to a bland, grey-ish society where everything is in black & white.

    The Melancholic Alcoholic.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I read this book many years ago and enjoyed it,however I'm going to review this movie purely on the movie. There is also a reason I never read a book right before the movie comes out,I want to judge it on it's own merits. I really enjoyed The Giver,it really made me feel. It celebrated life and everything that comes with it;love,joy,laughter,sadness and everything in between. Things we take for granted like music. The story itself is pretty straightforward but that's not necessarily a bad things. Most of the acting was good, Jeff Bridges however was the stand out to me. Using black and white and colour to show what the community is lacking was used well.
  • So... first of all, I have not read the book so this is not a comparison. Not to the book at least.

    But the story... It's not an original one, to be honest. And, as a movie at least, it's told and shown less alluring then the movie I know that tells a similar story; Equilibrium.

    Some other reviewers also state that you don't really get emotionally connected to the characters, with which I have to agree.

    All in all it's really not a bad movie and the underlying moral is beautiful! But if a movie tells a story you've heard before it's easy to compare it with each other and, in my opinion, the other told it better.

    So; if you did like it or liked the story but missed the connection; Equilibrium!
  • Differ81225 October 2019
    This movie is very good, the story it's just incredible and wow... This movie really give us a message, we never should forget our past, we never should hide our feelings... I recommend this movie to everyone, it's one movie that everyone should see at least 1 time.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Awesome casting, Great story,Visual effects and color grading is just awesome. The philosophy is the best part I loved about the movie. The importance of human emotions,how killing each other for religion, cultural differences, color will create hatred for them. To save our human civilization we have to accept the differences or perish or wipe out the differences. The film just choose the 3rd option. But without love,emotions, culture,faith,difference we may survive but not as a what truly means to be human.
  • If you thought this movie was worth a single star less than 10/10 or are thinking skipping a watch I urge you, please reconsider.

    I know this film is based on a book, which, I am most definitely going to read because the very idea of this dystopia is so real and poetic.

    Forget everything you know, Imagine you just came into a world where society pushes you to be what it wants you to be, this is what has happened to you and almost every other single human being on this planet.

    This film runs a beautiful paradox of what is happening with society today, not to mention the build up between black and white picture and incredible acting is really out of this world and captivates exactly what this movie is trying to show.

    Today people are going colourblind, people are at war with each other, rape each other, cold blooded murder each other, make terrible music which ruins children's lives, really, you cannot deny that we are destroying every single part that made any of us the philanthropist human beings that most once were or should be.

    What this film does, is, takes you to a place where this shift in the human consciousness has ended, rather abruptly, instead of getting to the root of our problems, society in this film has removed the very branches of the tree that allow us to fail.

    The detrimental effect of this shift in consciousness becomes very obvious, taking away and controlling human emotion has led to a zombie like mass population we see today, which, is mirrored in this film.

    I really cannot say anymore without spoiling the film other than watch it with an open mind and heart, think of every single living being on this planet before you watch this film. Think about whats happening to society today and how close we are to becoming the society that exists within The Giver, with, an end that could be so easy as, thinking outside the box.

    If you are anything of a human being and watch this film with my instructions in mind I can %110 guarantee not only your satisfaction but your every heart string pulled in directions I believe another film will struggle to ever pull in again. One of very few films next to the fault in our stars that shed tears with me.

    11/10
  • I just watched an early screening of the movie The Giver today and I'd just like to say it was amazing. The transition from the book to the movie was excellent. There were several things that were added to the movie but I honestly think that they helped the people who haven't read the books understand everything a little better. I think that the movie is better than the book only because there was adventure and everything moved quicker than it did in the books. The makers of the movie did not miss out on barely anything and the things that they did they made up for with an alteration. There was humor, romance and a lot of self-discovery in the movie and I personally think the casting was pretty decent although Jonas was 12 in the books. The acting in the movie was great, I really enjoyed myself and highly recommend seeing this movie!
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