While the cinematic world has for some time now been reeling under the attack of YA adaptations, along comes another. However, 'The Giver' based on Lois Lowry's novel can count itself as one of the founding fathers of the genre that's become a staple now. So it's ironic that for those unaware this movie might seem like a ripoff of The hunger games and Divergent and other of its ilk.
Set in the distant future, crime, war, famine, disease has been eradicated but at a cost which the populace aren't even aware they have paid, their humanity. Deciding that's it's too dangerous to let people make their own decisions; the world is awash in a monochromatic hue of sameness that extends to rules and regulations for their daily activities. Youngsters are told what their future occupations will be, the old are “retired” at appropriate times, the young are culled carefully and handed to “family Units”, so in short it is a very carefully handled and controlled society maintaining sameness to avoid conflict and misery. The story centres around Jonas (Brenton Thwaites) a young boy who’s chosen to be the next receiver of memories, from the giver (Jeff Bridges). This is regarded as the highest honour since the receiver of memories is the one who knows all there is to about the past and everything that has been deemed as illegal. Once introduced to these concepts and memories, his life changes in a way that not only is he a treat to himself but to all of the way of life that has been designated for the world.
The initial setup with the black and white scenes is quite intriguing and acting turns by Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep are excellent. The scenes, in which Jonas receives the memories from The Giver, have an overwhelming visual quality that manages to experience for a brief moment what beauty his mind must be experiencing. However the second half tries to be what it is not, an action film like divergent or the hunger games, and that’s it’s undoing. For this is a largely intellectual film with no aspirations of being an action film.view less