Upon seeing the trailer for The Giver, I thought to myself that this would just be another teen book saga to film adaption. Although after seeing the movie I did a bit of research and found out that the book of the same title was actually published in 1993, suggesting that it was probably far from the teen saga style and that this has merely been adopted for the film to capitalise on the craze. Anyway this doesn’t bother me as I am reviewing the film not the book, I just thought it would be worth mentioning.
This film does have all the elements of the recent films with a similar vibe such as The Hunger Games and Divergent, we begin by learning about the community that the characters live in and then of course there is a grand ceremony which brings about a change and the plot unfolds from here. However this was almost where the similarities ended which was refreshing. Instead of being dominated by a soppy love story the film actual explores its quite ambitious ideas which makes for much more interesting viewing. I really enjoyed the plot in this film especially how the character of Jonas (Brenton Thwaites) learnt about the past of the world he was now living in. It was quite something seeing this character react to things that we have become so accustomed too and maybe numb in some cases. Whilst many of us have come to terms with the harsh realities of this life such as war he simply couldn’t comprehend these things. This actually really made me think and I really wasn’t expecting this film to have such a profound effect on me.
There is a whole host of actors and actresses on offer in The Giver, some fare better than others. The stand out performance to no-ones surprise is Jeff Bridges. Others that do well are Brenton Thwaites and Alexander Skarsgard. Meryl Streep is solid but plays a fairly uninteresting character who doesn’t really allow for her to stretch herself although it made a nice change that this character wasn’t really a villain, she genuinely just wanted the best for the community. It’s probably best if we don’t mention Taylor Swifts, thankfully short, performance. The story isn’t that epic, it doesn’t have that many twists and turns and the action isn’t anything special however the ideas that it toys with make you think and provide a sufficient amount of stimulation to make the film enjoyable. The fact that Jonas’ motivation mainly came from his love for his adopted brother Gabriel rather than Fiona was also a fantastic decision and I was glad to see a different slant than the usual formula.
I’m sure this film will be caught up in the teen saga craze but I also think that it has the chance to appeal to a wider audience, it features ideas that allow you to engage rather than leave your brain at the door which maybe was the impression that the trailer gave. The Giver was easily enjoyable and there is a lot of potential for future installments in this series.
BIGGEST FLAW – Taylor Swift
BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT – The ideas featured
Rating – 8.5/10