A Film of Artistic and Thoughtful Beauty | Review of ‘The Giver’

By: Cynthia Ayala

The Giver has brought life to black and white as the movie develops the novels symbolism and presents a thought provoking struggle of freedom and what it means.

Directed by: Phillip Noyce

Screenplay by: Michael Mitnick & Robert B. Weide

Based on The Giver by Lois Lowry

Starring: Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep, Brenton ThwaitesAlexander Skarsgård, Katie Holmes, Taylor SwiftCameron MonaghanOdeya Rush

Genre: DramaScience fiction,Action

The haunting story centers on Jonas, a young man who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Yet as he begins to spend time with The Giver, who is the sole keeper of all the community’s memories, Jonas quickly begins to discover the dark and deadly truths of his community’s secret past. With this newfound power of knowledge, he realizes that the stakes are higher than imagined – a matter of life and death for himself and those he loves most. At extreme odds, Jonas knows that he must escape their world to protect them all – a challenge that no one has ever succeeded at before.

    Summary by movie|fone

The Giver offers viewers a different and symbolic representation on freedom and conformity in an enlighten way.

One of the more striking aspects of the film is the art direction that this film takes. Initially, this film starts in black and white, highlighting the visual differences that the characters experience. This also highlights the enlightened nature that surround the main character Jonas. Throughout the film, this gift is key to the plot line while also enabling the character to grow through each experience he encounters. As the film continues, as Jonas continues to grow and see the truth around him, viewers experience it alongside him as the audience begins to see color with him. The shift is so calm, so subtle that there comes a point when it no longer registers with the audience. It comes off as natural and doesn’t break the pace of the film.

As far as story goes, it was incredible. Symbolically, this film shows the differences between communism and capitalism, giving insight into both realms. Within the film, the council shows control over the people, a chemical dose retrains them, without them even knowing it, taking away their capabilities to feel emotions. They live by rules that blind them from who they are and blind them from their deeper inhibitions. The representation in the film is so profound, resonating off the screen by the story and the acting. There is such a profound meaning behind this movie, about governmental rule infringing on the lives and freedoms of their people. The Giver a movie that will make you think; that will make the viewer look around not only at where we live but also at the world as a whole. Does being blind and giving up freedoms make the world better?

That is the whole journey behind the film, the fact that it makes the viewer think about their freedoms, about following the rules and society blindly.

Another strong selling point of this film was the acting. Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep are without a doubt two of the most amazing actors out there. Their dynamics are strong and they both represent each side of the coin. They brought so much to the table and worked so hard to make sure their performances brought to life the ideals their characters held. The younger actors, Brenton Thwaites, Odeya Rush and Cameron Monaghan had the perfect dynamic between one another. The events in the film tear at their characters, at their friendship, pushing viewers to the edge of their seats, keeping viewers (who haven’t read the book) guessing what is going to happen between them.

The Giver is an exceptional film filled with exquisite performances and even better symbolism about freedom and enlightenment. ★★★★ (A)

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