Based on Lois Lowry’s 1993 novel, The Giver begins promisingly before sinking into the depths of mediocrity. The film is further spoiled by bad timing as it awkwardly follows the recent raft of newer teen dystopian adaptations. Thus, The Giver appears derivative in its setting.
In a seemingly perfect society, without conflict, deception or choice, Jonas (Brenton Thwaites) is assigned to learn of the pain and beauty in the real, past world from the Giver (Jeff Bridges). An impressive cast, however, can’t escape the shallow archetypes of their characters and, despite an interesting premise, the film just does not deliver.
Although the film has a few merits, including the deft use of a colour motif that harks back to Oz, a dull and predictable ending does nothing to help it overall: the studio clearly has its fingers crossed for yet another series.
CAST: Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep, Brenton Thwaites, Alexander Skarsgård, Taylor Swift
DIRECTOR: Phillip Noyce
WRITERS: Michael Mitnick & Robert B. Weide (screenplay), Lois Lowry (novel)
SYNOPSIS: When Jonas is assigned to be his community’s Receiver of Memories, he begins working with the elusive Giver. Through him he learns of the pain and pleasure absent from his ordered society, which has been structured to work peacefully and efficiently without the clutter of the past’s emotion.