I know it’s been a few weeks since I posted. I apologize. I went back to work and there is a lot of new changes and they are overwhelming, frustrating, and time-consuming. So… Enough of that. Let’s talk about The Giver.
Growing up I read the book, I believe for a middle-school class. While in college for my English Education degree it was required reading for one of my classes. I’ve read the book as an adult for enjoyment. Whether reading it as a requirement or enjoyment I loved it every time I opened the cover.
Now, with a book that I have held near and dear to my heart when I hear they are going to make a movie it scares me. There have been so many of my beloved books that have been turned into movies that made me just want to cry when I saw them. Not tears of joy. But of utter despair. People who hadn’t read the books saw the movies and never understood the true message of the author. Some examples: Eragon (from the Inheritance Cylce), The Mortal Instruments City of Bones, The Golden Compass, Great Expectations, Beowulf, Beautiful Creatures, and so so many more. Of course there have been directors who have done pretty good to excellent jobs at telling the story of a book.
So, when I walked into The Giver it was with slight hesitation. When I read a book i have such an imagination that I see everything in my mind. And from past experience seeing my images against a movie can be disappointing and then it muddles into my own. (What characters look like, sound like, act like, setting, etc).
I sit down in my leather movie chair with my boyfriend sitting at my left. He hasn’t read the book. The movie starts. In black and white. True to the tale of the book. 1 point to the director.
The main character Jonas I believe is older (I’ve read they are portraying him as 18 and in the book he is 12) in the movie than in the book. And I know his younger sister is. I remember reading that Lily, at the ceremony wanted a bike that kids get when turning nine, but she wasn’t old enough. In the movie she has turned nine and receives a bike. This isn’t huge for me. It didn’t really take too much away from the story to me. Now points and no negative points.
Now, Lois Lowry did a fantastic job at telling giving us a rich background to the book and explaining many nuances of the society in which everyone lives. The movie doesn’t do this. I did not like it one bit. There was so many things in the book that cemented the background and plot like the rituals of families and we only see a small, small glimpse of it in the movie. I believe those rituals in the book are what shows the reader how families/interactions changed so much in the futuristic “utopian” society. -1 point for the director/screen writer.
With the giving of memories from the Giver played by Jeff Bridges to Jonas there are some differences that I believe was the directors play on trying to say some political/social statement. One of the largest ones that was glaring to me was when he gave Jonas the memory of war. The one in the book was of an old war with canons and horses. The one in the movie was of what appears to be Vietnam. Big, big difference. Did not like it. -1 point for the director.
The explanation of being released to elsewhere was very well done. I knew, as anyone who read the book, that it would be a touchy thing to show on screen especially the “release” of the twin. The director did a very good job at this. It was strong enough to explain to the viewer what releasing means but not too graphic. 1 point for the director.
I could keep going on and on about the differences of the book and movie and how I thought it affected the plot. But I’ll stop here for now.
I think that the differences didn’t affect the story to the point of destroying Lois Lowry’s vision but there was definite places where things should of been added and should have NEVER been added.
I would say definitely go see the movie regardless if you have read the book or not. My boyfriend enjoyed the movie.
I would give The Giver a 7.5 out of 10.
Live. Love. Learn. Teach.