The Giver

Movie:  The Giver

Rating:  3 Stars (Out of 5)

Review:  There are many visions of what a perfect society would be.  In this one, all memories of a violent past have been erased.  There are many rules that have been established to ensure equality among the population.  No one can tell lies; in games there are no winners or losers; all conflict has been filtered out of their lives.  After high school, jobs and their purpose in life are assigned by a group of elders who govern the society.

Jonas (Brenton Thwaites) attends the Ceremony of Assignment following graduation from school, and like his friends Fiona and Asher, he is excited to learn what his future role will be.  To his astonishment, for the first time in ten years he is selected to be a Receiver of Memory under the tutelage of The Giver (Jeff Bridges).   There is only one Giver in the society, and he has the huge responsibility of having access to memories from an earlier time where people had all sorts of emotions to deal with.  The Giver has wondrous memories of oceans, snow fall, music, parties and laughter; he also has knowledge of war, pain and great evil.  All of these positives and negatives have been hidden from the current society, but are about to be revealed to Jonas, the apprentice Receiver.

Jonas is a young man, full of questions and idealism in a society that has squashed emotions, not to mention dissent or individualism.  The Chief Elder (Meryl Streep) is keeping a close eye on the new Receiver.  She is a strong believer in the use of the iron fist in a velvet glove.  The Giver, and Jonas, have tremendous freedom in this otherwise straight-laced society, and this kind of autonomy is a source of concern to the Chief Elder.

I really wanted to give this film a higher grade, but I felt somewhat disappointed after it was over.  The movie had a message, and it was perhaps too simplistic when all was said and done.  But any movie with Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep, two of the greatest actors in this country, is worth seeing.

Huh?  What the ….:  Not sure how the Giver transmitted his memories to Jonas.  It sure looked a lot like a Vulcan mind meld from the old Star Trek days.

Actors to Note:  Katie Holmes was wasted in this film as the mother of Jonas.  Cameo appearance for singer Taylor Swift.

Dialogue Nuggets:  “Sleep period commences in 15 minutes.”

“You had a dream.  A combination of realities, fantasies, and what you had for dinner.”

“When people have the freedom to choose, they choose wrong every single time.”

“You’re living a life of echoes and shadows.”

Shout Out:    A warm welcome to “The Queen”, a new visitor to this movie blog.  Feel free to contribute comments to reviews and the “What’s Wrong With The Movies” category.



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