Friday, August 15, 2014
Hopefully the book “The Giver” by Lois Lowry, which the movie is based on, gives a lot more answers to what happened and what will happen then the screenplay by Michael Mitnick and Robert B. Weide lets you in on. The movie pulled me in and then left me hanging but not enough to want to read the book to see if the answers are there.
The film opens in a black and white world filled with people who are injected every day with medicine to not feel anything, to be alike and whose words are devoid of feelings. We meet Jonas, played by Brenton Thwaites, and his two friends Asher, played by Cameron Monaghan, and Fiona, played by Odeya Rush, who are graduating and will be given their appointed life roles. Asher will be a drone pilot, Fiona a nurturer of babies until they are sent to the families they will be raised by and Jonas is given the role of receiver, to be given all the memories of the world’s past including negative and positive feelings.
Jonas will be given all the knowledge that the Receiver of Memory, who is the title role played by Jeff Bridges, has of the past regarding feelings and the more memories he is given the more color enters Jonas’s world. In other major roles Meryl Streep as the community’s Chief Elder who, more or less, decides who will do what when, Alexander Skarsgard and Kate Holmes as Jonas’s parents and Emma Tremblay as his sister.
As a film dealing with feelings/emotions and what a loss life is without them the director Phillip Noyce doesn’t bring any feelings or human emotions to the film version of “The Giver”. He delivers with the Sci-fi but not the drama.