The Giver (2014)

From the NET:

  1. The haunting story of THE GIVER centers on Jonas, a young man who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Yet as he begins to spend time with The Giver, who is the sole keeper of all the community's memories, Jonas quickly begins to discover the dark and deadly truths of his community's secret past. With this newfound power of knowledge, he realizes that the stakes are higher than imagined - a matter of life and death for himself and those he loves most. At extreme odds, Jonas knows that he must escape their world to protect them all - a challenge that no one has ever succeeded at before.
  2. Initial releaseAugust 15, 2014 (USA)

"Always in the dream, it seemed as if there were a destination: a something--he could not grasp what-that lay beyond the place where the thickness of snow brought the sled to a stop. He was left, upon awakening, with the feeling that he wanted, even somehow needed, to reach the something that waited in the distance. The feeling that it was good. That it was welcoming. That it was significant. But he did not know how to get there."
- Lois Lowry, The Giver, Ch. 12

The year is 2048, less than 24 years from now. The world does not have any colour and people have the gift of "sameness" so no one could boast.  Each person is created with a specific purpose and no one can veer away from it.  Lying is a criminal offence and even if they know how to feel, they don't have any deeper sense of any kind of emotion or morality.  They also need to use the proper terms or else, they would be reprimanded or sent to elsewhere

I was tempted to liken this to PLEASANTVILLE, but the only thing similar to it was grey scale features of the film.  

One thing this movie(or story) proves is that John Lennon's song, the phenomenal hit called IMAGINE, is not an ideal situation, even if a lot, if not all, long for it to be.

Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today...

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one

THE COMMUNITY ruled by a Council of Elders created a world like how John Lennon hoped the world would be.  It is great to imagine such a world, but the absence of war doesn't bring true peace and murder by any other name is still murder. 

If we get stripped of our emotions and our free will in the guise of protecting us from evil, then we would be living like marionettes, robots, toys or characters in a story controlled by the writer.  We would not be allowed to be able to reach our full capacity.  We would not be allowed to love or to express our love because we would not know that love exists.

We question our sufferings and why certain things happen in our lives.  We too want a perfect world, but we must realise that our world today is not perfect because this is NOT heaven.  


Jeff Bridges, Alexander Skarsgård, Katie Holmes, Taylor Swift and Meryl Streep all have proven themselves as great and very talented actors through the years.  They all did not disappoint, most especially the producer-actor, Bridges. He portrayed the role of The Giver like he was the really The Giver himself.  He has been preparing for this role for fifteen years and all of his hard work paid off.

The younger ones: Brenton Thwaites, Odeya Rush, Cameron Monaghan and Emma Tremblay also owned their roles like they were tailor-made for them.

Emma Tremblay plays Lily, Jonas's younger sister in his family unit.  Emma was last seen as Amanda in the TV Movie LET IT SNOW and she was introduced as Matilda in the Matt Damon movie called Elysium.   

Cameron Monaghan plays Asher, one of the two childhood friends of Jonas.  They have a pact to be friends forever. Would he keep that promise in the end? Who? Asher or Cameron? Cameron is Asher.  Asher is Cameron.  Hmmm.  He still has a long way to go, but he did well.  (Honestly, if I were to compare him with Emma...nah, I won't go there.)

I first saw Odeya "Gift of God" Rush as Joni in THE ODD LIFE OF TIMOTHY GREEN.  She was a very beautiful young almost fifteen year old girl who was the object of Timothy's adulation.  Here, she plays as Fiona, Jonas's childhood friend and eventually first love.  For me, she is awesome.

Brenton Thwaites, who was Maleficent's Prince Philip(who was not Aurora the Sleeping Beauty's true love when they first met, but eventually became her suitor) reminded me of David Gallagher when he was his age.  He was so good here, but when he was with any of the Jillings twins who played Gabe, he was overshadowed by the cuteness of the baby.

I will read the reviews later.  These are my thoughts and I don't want these thoughts affected by them.

What I know is, I enjoyed this film(except for a few dragging parts) because it is pretty exciting, especially when Jonas was trying to surpass the boundary of memory/memories.

Before watching this film I read somewhere that Jonas et al were supposed to be 12. Here,  if the nines were middles/tweens, then Jonas et al should be 18.  I know it was mentioned somewhere.  I just forgot.  ;-)  I will search for a link, then add it below.

"Thank you for your childhood!" (as Meryl Streep as the Dictator would say during graduation)  

1. Author Lois Lowry was inspired to write The Giver because of her late father's illness.

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