Synopsis: In a seemingly perfect community, without war, pain, suffering, differences or choice, a young boy is chosen to learn from an elderly man about the true pain and pleasure of the “real” world.
The Giver is NOT Divergent
Hollywood has turned a thought-provoking book into a surface deep less than mediocre contemporary YA movie. I have not seen Divergent, but watching The Giver gave me that tingly Divergent feeling. The Giver is about a young boy who learns the truth behind his community when he is chosen to be The Receiver. The Giver is not about the special chosen one becoming a rebel with a cause to fight the system and the man. There is nothing wrong with that story, but that is not The Giver. Had Hollywood adapted the actual story from The Giver, it would have been more of a standout movie in the sea of chosen one YA movies (i.e. The Hunger Games, Divergent, The Maze Runner).
Reel Lit Garbage
Watching this movie made me wonder if the screenwriters even read The Giver because they completely erased the essence of the book. Making Jonas a teenager may have been in effort to get the teenie boppers in the theater. However, keeping Jonas as the twelve year old from the book would have been even more startling on screen. It is powerful imagery to see not only someone’s childhood end at 12, but to see a group of adults choose the rest of that new adult’s entire life path.
Also, Hollywood, y’all are killing me with this unnecessary love triangle, Jonas immediately and eagerly breaking all the community rules, and The Chief Elder being much too concerned with Jonas’ training. Did we read the same book? Oh, I forgot. Y’all didn’t read The Giver, which is probably why Jeff Bridges is playing The Giver. I think Jeff Bridges is a great actor, but he was not the right fit for this role. The Giver is old old. He is in constant pain because of his life’s work. Jeff Bridges looked like an adorable and eccentric grandpa. Epic fail!
Have I ranted enough about how terrible The Giver adaptation is? If I haven’t stated it more explicitly, then let me say: This movie is a trash adaption, periodt! I didn’t care about Jonas because the story was rushed and bungled. Instead of creating the slow burn of Jonas’ realization about his community, the movie rushed through three-fourths of the book in the first 30 minutes. Then, they stuffed the rest of the movie with garbage. The only redeeming quality was the movie’s transition from black and white to color as Jonas gained more memories. That might be the only part of The Giver Hollywood got right. Rating: Burnt Popcorn