61. The Giver
This novel by Lois Lowry has long been one of my favorites. Going into this film frightened me because I loved the book so much. The depth of the novel seemed like something that the cinema could never capture. However, my mother stated her love of the film after viewing it at my new job. From the first minute, the actors and script captured my attention. Although not exactly the same as the novel, this movie has the same central message and heart. Plus, it helped me to realize more clearly the theme of emotions being repressed because of the pain that they cause. This convinced me to write about the movie for Media Monday.
Synopsis: Imagine a world with no discrimination, worry, pain, danger, or bad decision making. That probably sounds perfect. Jonas has lived his whole life in such a place. However, when the teenager becomes the receiver who holds all past memories, he realizes his life for what it truly is – a prison where no one can make choices or feel true emotions. What is worse, the pain from the past or the half-life of the present? Jonas must decide not only for himself but those that he loves. Recovery Pluses: Without spoiling the ending and many twists of this movie, I will state that hope and honesty of emotions win out in the end. Yes, our lives have much pain because of our ability to choose our actions and have feelings. That only makes the beautiful moments more amazing. Otherwise, we would be robots only following orders. This film reminds us of the great gift we have in life despite the numerous struggles.
Many other positive themes in this movie make it poignant and inspiring. Even those who are different or have disabilities are shown to be important and worth living. Love, hope, passion, caring for others, nature – there are so many important elements of life that are upheld as noble and beautiful things. I could go on for paragraphs about the wonderful aspects of this film, but I will end there and encourage you to see it.
Cautions: This film is rated PG-13 for some intense scenes as well as mature themes. The violence is very brief but a bit jarring at times. Several people die or are nearly killed in usually bloodless but emotionally difficult ways. Otherwise, The Giver is pretty clean and a great movie for tweens and anyone older.
Rarely do I enjoy a movie even close to as much as the book it is adapted from originally. The Giver is one of the few exceptions. Although Lowry’s novel still trumps the film, the script and authenticity to the author’s intent make this movie so wonderful. Plus, I caught so much more about the importance of emotions by watching it on a screen. Please, even if you usually hate movies based on literary works, give this film a try. It is a powerful, brave light of hope that shines amid many recent films filled with darkness and despair.
The Giver trailer on YouTube
The Giver on IMDB
The Giver on Rotten Tomatoes