Plot – 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.
Director – Phillip Noyce
Released – 2014
Over the last 10 years, we have seen a spike in teen fiction adaptations making their way to cinemas, some a success like Twilight and Hunger Games and some not so successful like Divergent which didn’t manage to make it all the way through the proposed quadrilogy. Unlike the others, The Giver never set out to spawn a series and because of that, I found it to be a much more complete movie than most of the others and although it never reaches the heights of the Hunger Games; I found it to be a very entertaining addition to a growing (some might say overcrowded) sub-genre.
At first, you may feel the use of black & white to be a bit of a gimmick, but I found it worked well to showcase all things that are lacking in this society and after ten minutes or so I had completely lost myself in the story and talented performances to notice and found myself thinking about the nature of mankind, which is just one of the questions that The Giver asks the viewer during the runtime.
With Streep and Bridges, two former Oscar winners making up part of the cast and a whole host of other big names dotted throughout, the performances are just as strong as you would expect it to be, with even the young generation of actors including lead Thwaites and love interest Rush holding their own against their more accomplished co-stars, delivering excellent characterisations that keep the viewers entertained throughout.
Overall, The Giver is an extremely interesting and unique film that borrows themes from various dystopian cult films, such as 1984, Soylent Green and Logan’s Run. My only real criticism being the ending felt a little shot and could have benefitted from another ten minutes or so to show the repercussions that the events of the film caused.