Review: The Giver (The Giver #1) by Lois Lowry



Jonas’ world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear or pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the Community. When Jonas turns twelve, he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.


Goddamn it, Alexander Skarsgard, you finally make a second movie that I’m willing to see (insert plug here for the excellent What Maisie Knew) and when I finally read the source material, it makes me weep.


Why does this movie exist?

This book is lovely and quiet. It’s basically a book of moments, a book of discovery of simple things like color and emotion; things that we take for granted. If anything, I’d say this book is almost unfilmable. Oh, sure there are ways it could be it done – certainly many expected this to be in black-and-white with gradual reveal of color (like a more gradual Wizard of Oz) – but still, outside of the memories that have been passed along, there is very little action here. And when there is action, it’s certainly not action in the modern movie sense. There is some stealth…then nothing. This book has no real conclusion. There is no uprising. There is no battle. Jonas has no love interest. This is a book of moments, and I can’t see how they’d turn it into a film, especially since, despite being a quartet, there are no true sequels.

I appreciate how long it took to get this made, and I can understand why Bridges wanted it to be made, and why people have such fondness for the book . But. Sigh. It’s going to be one of those movies, isn’t it?

I’ll try and hold out hope, but I honestly can’t see how a faithful adaptation will be made based on what we have seen. I guess time will tell.

In the mean time, go read the book. It’s simple, it’s effective, and I can see why so many hold such high regard for it. And you can easily it pick it up for $5 or less, it’s a no brainer.

Verdict: Buy It

Available: Now (Film out 8/15/2014)