Coming to theatres this Friday from director Phillip Noyce, The Weinstein Company and the beloved book by Lois Lowry comes THE GIVER.
This film tells the story about a perfect world. In this world everyone is happy and the teens after graduation are chosen for positions of importance. Excited for the day, Jonas (Brenton Thwaites) waits with friends Fiona (Odeya Rush) and Asher (Cameron Monaghan) to discover what they will do. Each young person awaits the news that comes from the Chief Elder (Meryl Streep).
Jonas is chosen to be the Receiver of Memories. His teacher is The Giver (Jeff Bridges), a man who knows much about the history of humanity before the perfect world. Jonas learns that everything isn’t as perfect as he was raised to believe by his Mother (Katie Holmes) and Father (Alexander Skarsgard). He also seeks to know about the place beyond their city.
When a baby named Gabriel comes into their lives, Jonas takes a special interest, especially when he learns what happens to children who are different. As the young man learns about love, beauty and what the world held before – he also learns of hate, war and what mankind was capable of.
Jonas knows he must do what is right – and that includes saving Gabriel. There is an awakening waiting and he will see it done!
FINAL WORD: Thwaites as Jonas plays a character that begins yearning to learn and by the films end yearns to do what’s right. There is a sense that there is more to this character yet I enjoyed his performance as Jonas. Bridges at this year’s San Diego Comic Con said of Thwaites, “Once you see him in this film you will know why he’s the next rising star”.
Bridges as The Giver does a marvelous job. His character seems a tad eccentric yet there is a method to his madness. There is a clear sadness yet the knowledge that Jonas has the strength to do what is necessary to awaken a sleeping society. Bridges plays these mentor roles extremely well and in this film he proves it yet again.
Streep is an interesting choice as The Elder. The last few years Streep’s roles have been very powerful and strong yet playing The Elder, although Leader (if you will), seems more of a perpetual worry-wart! Fighting to keep her perfect world perfect is a full time job.
Rush as Fiona is very charming and works with the infants, the same group that Gabriel comes from. Jonas is clearly in love. Wanting to change their world could mean being apart. Monaghan as Asher works with security and realizes Jonas is changing.
Holmes as the Mother is cold and distant. Skarsgard as the Father is a loving physician of the children but there is a part of him that has no idea of the wrong he is doing. Taking in Gabriel is definitely heartwarming to all TRUE BLOOD fans!
Other cast includes: Emma Tremblay as Lilly, Renate Stuurman as Dinah and Taylor Swift as Rosemary.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give THE GIVER three tubs of popcorn out of five. I did enjoy the story and that the film didn’t drag but got right to the point. The downside would be that I’ve seen this premise before. Feel free to disagree but DIVERGENT looks a lot like this – minus the baby of course.
That seems to be the trend now, finding books to turn into films and having them be teen-themed with the potential to make trilogies out of them with the finale being cut into two. Yes, I am completely bored with that happening.
The cinematography is very well done and exquisite at times. It is an eye full to see the world from The Giver’s touch. THE GIVER leaves the door open for more but I like the way the film ended so I’m hoping that Hollywood will let us enjoy that moment of ‘what if…’
In the end – search the truth and find freedom.