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Movie Breakdown: The Giver

August 14, 2014

Film

People are doing traditional-style reviews all over the web, so we decided to try something different.  In each “breakdown” we’ll take a look at what a film’s marketing led us to believe, how the movie actually played, and then what we learned from it all.  Read on!

The Impression:

Famed novel The Giver finally lands on the silver screen.

The Reality:

I didn’t like The Giver.  I thought it was really bland and too concerned with trying to emulate the sprawl and action of other young adult films like The Hunger Games and Divergent (also might as well toss the upcoming Maze Runner in there, too).  It could have been a film with a big message – one that strongly supports freedom of choice and not being afraid of the highs and lows of life – and a real change of pace for the YA genre, but instead Phillip Noyce directs it in a way that glosses over anything of substance and instead focuses only on the dystopian portion of the story.  So, The Giver is nothing but the usual ambiguous government officials, elaborate class systems and so on that we’ve seen over and over again.  What a wasted opportunity.

By the way, I know some of you will run out to theater anyways because of your everlasting love for the book, but I promise that you won’t get anything close to what you’re hoping for.  The film is 94 minutes of pure disappointment that’s led by Noyce’s totally uninspired direction, a thin plot and a poor performance by Brenton Thwaites (he portrays Jonas).  Don’t let your nostalgia for the book trick you!

The Lesson:

Something something Indian Giver.

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