Cliched adaptation of ‘The Giver’ fails to impress

Cliched adaptation of The Giver fails to impress

Lois Lowry’s book won the 1994 Newberry Medal for children’s literature.

By Balbina Yang, Advertising Manager

Some people dislike watching black and white movies. Although The Giver isn’t completely black and white, it feels suffocating and comes off as mediocre, just as other blockbuster gray-scale films tend to be.

Upon reading the book, the first question that pops up is what life would be like without color. Would we always have an appetite? How would traffic lights work? Neither the former nor the latter is fully explored as the movie progresses. One still cannot imagine what life would be like colorless even after watching the movie.

In Lois Lowry’s novel, Jonas is only 12 years old. However, Jonas is portrayed by Brenton Thwaites, who is 25 years old. Everyone hits puberty at different stages, but the dialogue, actions and looks seem too mature for a 12-year-old boy.

Dialogue is supposed to create the rapport between the characters and the audience. While most of the characters do seem credible, there are times when the acting and dialogue lack chemistry, making one cringe.

Also, in the novel, Jonas has feelings for Fiona, but the film took the romance to a whole new level. The relationship becomes too cliché and desperate for attention. It is inevitable that they would be together, but the romance is wholly unnecessary as Jonas already has the issue of restoring people’s memories and other things in mind.

Of course, every movie with its gripes is not without some jewels. Out of all the scenes, the memory shots were superb. Director Phillip Noyce captured the colored montages so beautifully that one feels as if he or she is really dancing, shooting a gun, and watching the elephant, etc.

Longtime fans of Meryl Streep should be excited to know that she is part of the cast of The Giver. Just like in her many other movies, she molds into her character. Streep plays the Chief Elder, a strict, calm and extremely authoritative person leading the community.

Although it excels in visuals and the cast, The Giver lacks the deep message, chemistry, and accuracy of the book, therefore achieving a solid B grade.