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Monday, October 13, 2014

Movie Adaptation Review: The Giver

image source: here. edited by me.
"Memories are not just about the past; they determine our future."
I wasn't very excited about watching this actually, because there are a lot of complaints from the readers who've read the book about the movie adaptation. However, the movie adaptation was what made me want to read the book in the first place - so I can't not watch it. I didn't have high expectation because I know the book itself will be difficult to translate into movie. Surprisingly though, I really enjoy it - and I think the movie delivered the story beautifully. Here's my review on the movie adaptation of The Giver (there might be spoilers).

The movie started off by introducing the Community and the Rules for the people in it. In this Community, everyone is equal - there is no envy, no hatred, no feelings - everything goes according to order. Then there's Jonas, who almost graduates with his friend Fiona and Asher, to be assigned to their specific jobs. However, during the ceremony, Jonas' name was skipped. And at the end, Jonas was assigned a job unlike no other; he was chosen to be the Receiver of Memory. As Jonas went for his training, he met with the previous Receiver of Memory - who will now be called The Giver. When The Giver transferred the memories to him, Jonas experienced something he never knew existed.

That's the basic plot of the story; I won't discuss further what's going to happen next in the movie so I won't spoil it for those who haven't seen the movie or read the book yet. The first 20 minutes of the movie is in black and white, and gradually shifts into more colorful scenes - which is really nicely done, in my opinion. The Community is definitely a lot more modern and sophisticated in the movie compared to my own imagination when I read it; but I'm loving the setting anyways :))

Of course, I can't not discuss the differences between the book and the movie - and there are quite a lot actually. The first that comes to mind is the huge difference between Fiona and Asher's role in the movie and in the book. Fiona was supposed to be assigned at House of the Old in the book, however in the movie she was assigned as Nurturer (who takes care of the babies) - I guess this was arranged so that she could somehow contribute to what Jonas is going to do at the end. Same thing goes to Asher, who's supposed to be assigned to the Recreation; but in the movie he became a Drone Pilot - once again, so he could do 'something' as Jonas went on his mission. I'm not complaining about these changes actually, because then the other characters would have some sort of role in the movie plot - whereas in the book they're not that important.

However, the only change that I don't agree with is the romance in this movie adaptation; because Jonas and Fiona doesn't kiss in the book! If I remember correctly, Jonas didn't even share about his training to Fiona - while in the movie Fiona experienced 'feelings' for quite a while. I don't see the romance as something necessary; and for those who have finished reading the whole series must've already know who Jonas will be with at the end.
My favorite scene in the movie adaptation is when The Giver transferred the memories to Jonas. The memories that played in Jonas' head is so beautiful, and definitely portrayed the feelings that were being transferred. Like when Jonas had the memory of a wedding party, where everyone are dancing around happily and kissing each others' cheeks, which portrayed happiness along with music. I cried during the part when The Giver said to Jonas "You have the courage. Let me give you the strength." and then he transferred these strong memories to Jonas ㅠㅠ And I absolutely love the ending part at the Community (which I can't mention without spoiling), and I actually cried again! This part doesn't exist in the book, because it always focused on Jonas, and I'm really glad the producer added it into the movie. Such a beautiful and heartwarming scene ♥

As for the characters, I think Meryl Streep (as Chief Elder), Jeff Bridges (as The Giver), and Brenton Thwaites (as Jonas) stood out the most because they had the biggest roles in the movie. I'm satisfied with all of their performances, I think they delivered things pretty well. Although I think Jonas' character in the movie can be slightly different than he is in the book. I also love Alexander Skarsgård who played as Jonas' Father. He looks so adorable taking care of baby Gabriel ♥♥ And I also think baby Gabriel is super adorable ! Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that Taylor Swift is also in the movie as Rosemary. Almost didn't recognize her with that black hair - but she doesn't have a lot of scenes/lines anyway.
Everything is connected. Everything is balance. Where there is good, there is bad.
I can't say I'm a 100% satisfied with the movie, but I can say that I really enjoy watching it from beginning to end. The story delivers the message that even though sameness will make life equal and in order; however the existence of joy and pain is what makes a life. As I've said earlier, I know it's difficult for the movie producers to portray the story exactly like it was in the book - because the book had this charm of revealing things slowly at a time. But the rearrangements of the movie plot wasn't so bad; and I think it will be easily understood even if you haven't read the book yet. For this one, although I absolutely love the book, there are several aspects from the movie that I love as well. So I'll say that the movie is a good addition to the amazing book. For those who want to watch the movie, I need to tell you that this movie is not action-packed like most other dystopian, but I personally think it's a beautiful story.

And the sequel to The Giver movie adaptation, Gathering Blue, is still uncertain. But I do hope they would actually work on it; because I'm curious how good they would portray all these different characters in 4 books and intertwine them as one in the movie adaptation. I'll post updates when there's more news about it ;))
If you can't feel, what's the point?

by.stefaniesugia♥ .


  1. Jujur sih aku belum liat trailer film ini ataupun baca buku ini. tapi review kamu bagus deh.
    Giver itu buku keduanya ada ga sih?

    Fahmy Haryandi


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