Commentary by Cassie Ferrick
The Giver, a poor Hollywood rendition of Lois Lowry’s 1993 classic hit theaters Aug. 15, and to be quite frank, it was a catastrophe. Jonas, an adventurous and inquisitive young boy, takes over the high-tech community’s most honorable position of work – the receiver of memory. As expected, everything possible goes wrong.
I know what everyone is thinking…not another dystopian story, haven’t we had enough of these? And to answer that question, yes, dystopian novels and their movie counterparts are becoming the most recognizable cliche of the 21st century.
The Giver, originally a fantastic piece of dystopian work written long before the realm of apocalyptic societies took over the arts, is surely rolling in it’s novel grave. Despite the enormous amount of unnecessary, though very well done graphics and green screening throughout the film, it’s plot barely crossed the mediocre and cringe worthy line.
Jonas takes interest in Fiona, a red haired and brainwashed citizen of the village. Now, if the movie hadn’t completely dishonored the book, this is where the only bit of romance would have ended: Slight interest in a red haired girl, nothing more. Unfortunately, the film drags on romance that was never a part of the novel in any way, ultimately forcing a theme of forbidden love among its viewers. The young teenage infatuation that is seen is nothing far from cheesy kissing scenes and a proposal to run away together, which is seen over, and over, and over again.
There are several other disgraces to the book that turned a could be movie of the year into a back shelf Blockbuster movie. One being the fact Jonas miraculously transforms from a twelve year old boy in the novel, to a seventeen year old in the movie. Once again, we can thank Hollywood for over sexualizing and aging up our media. Part of that may be that twelve year old actors are hard to find, especially when dystopian films require imaginable work. Despite that, they still managed to hire the least emotional and most awkward young man to play the lead role, which horrifies the movie even more when one is sitting in a theater cringing at the actors.
Maybe it’s poor directing, maybe its one too few acting classes, but I was not impressed. In the end, The Giver ends up like any other dystopian film, our heros and heroins prevail through the dictation of their leaders, and leave audience members walking away from the theater wondering if playing a movie that disgraceful to it’s novel is even legal.