In a seemingly ideal world where colors, emotions, and choices do not exist, Jonas is chosen to become the Receiver of Memories. He meets the Giver, a mysterious man who gives Jonas memories—both good and bad—of the forgotten past. He starts seeing things in a new light—and he begins to question everything he’s ever known.
The acting was decent, but I can let it slide because what the actors lacked was a little bit of emotions and that’s what their world lacked. Some of the actors included Brenton Thwaites, Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep, and Taylor Swift. It was neat to see how when Jonas starts understanding emotions, he starts growing in his unique personality and stops being so monotonous, as their entire world is.
One scene that caught me is when Jonas asks his parents if they love him, and they don’t understand the question. They say that they enjoy him and are proud of him, but “love” is too generic of a word and needs to be clarified.
The movie was directed by Phillip Noyce, and I like how he really builds the intensity up as the movie goes along. It’s not a super intense movie, but he used a good amount to fit that sort of movie.
The movie is based on the book The Giver, by Lois Lowry, and I read the book first, which prompted me to watch the movie. While I was caught with the book’s idea of free will and choices, the writing was not the best I’ve read. It was mostly the ending of the book that made me not like it as much, because it kind of ended at a cliffhanger and the sequels were not quite as satisfying. The movie, however, had a good amount of action and learning and making you think. I’m surprised to say—for the majority of books are better than the movie—that the movie was better than the book.
One reason the movie was better was because of the visual effects. With writing, you’re limited to words—better for description but not good for visuals. The movie showed scenes not available for words. I wish I could show you the scenes near the end of the movie where it shows scene after scene of real life memories—a marriage, someone dying, a baby being born, a war scene, dancing, everything. It was great because it didn’t show just the happy scenes—but horrible, sad scenes too. It wasn’t a typical feel-good movie where everything was perfect.
There are few movies that make me actually think and make me feel good at the end of them. Usually I just think they’re good and move on, but rarely do I come across one that really made me wonder and sticks with me for a long time. Sometimes I wonder why free will is such a good thing—it can cause so much heartache and pain. The Chief Elder even says, “When people have the power to choose, they choose wrong.” Free will may cause pain, but it also results in love and passion and emotion and things that actually matter in life.
All in all, I’d give this movie a 9/10.