I approached seeing The Giver with some trepidation. I had heard it was ‘dark’ and controversial. This I’m sure is because the book had been banned from schools and it had taken Jeff Bridges 18 years to bring it to the screen. However long it took him, it was worth it. This is a movie which leaves you ‘thinking’. The theme is people living in a ‘perfect’ community, without emotion. Having no differences or choices and at the age of graduation the young are placed in a ‘job’ chosen for them. One boy, Jonas is placed with an elderly man The Giver, to learn about true pain and pleasure of the ‘real’ world.
Then the fun begins as Jonas, played adeptly by Brenton Thwaites wants to share what he is learning with his friends, mostly with Fiona played by Odeya Rush and Aser, played by Cameron Monahan. Jeff Bridges plays the older man The Giver, while Meryl Streep is Chief Elder, Alexander Skarsgard plays Jonas’s Dad, while Katie Holmes, his mother.
As mentioned this movie is worth seeing only for the conversation about society, and whether not being controlled is better than having all our feelings/emotions. Is it worth having to obey whatever is said by a governing body or not. The story is really about how Jonas is ‘freed’ and thereby ‘frees’ everyone. The result of that freeing we do not know. Is it good news how everything can go from black and white to ‘color’ when emotions are released. Or is it better to live in ignorance in a black and white world. The Giver is a movie which asks this question. An important one. It does make you think about our society and how many of us live.
4 out of 5.