Version: 2014; starring Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep, Taylor Swift, Katie Holmes
Genre: dystopian; sci-fi; drama; young adult
Plot Summary: Jonas grows up in a community that knows no pain or sorrow… or color or music or emotion. When Jonas is selected to be the next “Giver” in his community, he apprentices with an older man who teaches him the memory of what their community has banned. What Jonas decides to do with his newfound knowledge could change everything.
My Review: I had heard The Giver was a great young adult fiction novel, and had wanted to read it for a while. I checked the book out of the library intending to read it but ironically before I could, my mom and I decided to watch it one afternoon when it was in theaters last year. I knew the genre was somewhat dystopian in nature, but other than that I had no idea what it was about.
This was a very good movie. I still haven’t read the book (decided to give it a wait after all), so I don’t know how it compares. But the film version was very thought provoking without including objectionable content to worry about.
There are some heavy subjects within this story. It makes for good discussion after one has seen it. It includes themes like euthanasia, totalitarianism, free choice, and abortion. There were two things that particularly stood out to me. One was that it was a nice for a change to see a teenage boy showing interest in and nurturing an infant. It struck me how rarely we ever see that, especially depicted in movies. SPOILER: The second was an observation Jonas makes about the fact that ‘releasing babies [which did not meet with development standards] to Elsewhere’ was still murder, just called by a different name. I turned to my mom and said, “They had the gall to put this in a movie?” I applaud them for this message. END OF SPOILER. In a teen movie, to boot! It was not labeled a ‘Christian’ movie, yet I have to wonder if it will have more positive impact on culture than a lot of other recent inspirational films.
By all means, make sure you see this (but preferably read the book first!) as it is a well-made story that I heartily recommend.