|Review by Elizabeth Robbins|
Brave New World for the tween crowd.
The Giver is the story of Jonas (Brenton Thwaites, Maleficent), a young man who lives in a seemingly ideal world.
There is no war, no famine, and no disease. There is also no free choice. Everyone has there place predetermined on graduating high school. Jonas is chosen to be the new Receiver, the keeper of all the previous generations’ memories which he receives from the Giver (Jeff Bridges, The Big Lebowski, True Grit).
Jonas sees his world through new eyes and discovers the price of this “perfect” world.
Although the film is obviously made to target a teenage audience, it still one of the best of the recent explosion of dystopian young adult fiction that has made it to the big screen. It walks the line between teen romance and a story that makes kids ask the right questions about right, wrong, and free choice.
Thwaites’ winning smile and wide-eye expressions are there to bring in the teenage girls sighs, but they are forgivable because it foils the sterility of the society well.
Bridges’s Giver is the best kind of crabbie old man who has lifetime of knowledge to impart. He’s like that uncle that your parents told you to stay away from at Thanksgiving, but he always has the best stories. Alexander Skarsgard (True Blood) is endearing as Jonas father who tries to understand the changes his son is going through, and Katie Homes (Batman Begins) plays Jonas’s mother, an enforcers of the societies rules, both at home and in the community. Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady) lends her gravity to the part of the Chief Elder, a leader who will do all she can to preserve their way of life.
The Giver pulls out the filmmakers bag of tricks to tell it’s story.
The use of color timing and black and white film to describe Jonas awakening to a larger world is beautiful to watch. The collage of film to express the memories bombards your senses the way it does Jonas’. It is almost as if the director is reminding the viewer of his or her humanity as Jonas learns about it.
Although not the usual summer blockbuster material, The Giver is a solid film.