Movie Review: The Giver

Right now I'm writing this while listening to the song composed by Marco Beltrami that I first heard from the end credits of The Giver. My goosebumps are standing on its ends right now. The song is truly amazing. I can feel it through my soul. I want you to feel the same feeling I'm having so I'm going to attach the video to the song here.

I was late in watching the movie. Where was I when this movie was out? I was missing a lot! But I'm not here to talk about my incompetence on keeping up with new movies. I'm here to talk about this amazing movie.

It was marvelous, an extra-ordinary adaptions that I don't think any of those who have read the book should have anything to complain about. The movie closely followed the book. There were some aspects and elements added but it did nothing to ruin the story but instead, it only make the story better. The relationship between Jonas and Fiona was more pronounced in the movie than it was in the book. Some love-haters might have problems with this but I don't. I think the relationship is important to showcase the mature feelings that Jonas has yet to learn from the memories he was given. Besides, it was one of the many beautiful feelings that we have to endure in a lifetime. Also, it adds more feelings for viewers to get attached to and surely viewers were able to connect more with the characters and to know how it is like to be in a world where feelings and teenage hormones are frown upon.

Of course it was clear upon the first look that Jonas wasn't the same age as he should be like in the book but that seems to be the trend with most Young Adult adaptions these days. In the book, the ceremony of which Jonas was elected to be the receiver of memories, he was twelve. However, in the movie, Jonas was sixteen in the ceremony. But, whatever the age that the director wants Jonas to be, surely he should get a more convincingly-looking sixteen year old? Unless, of course, that teens in the future have a much advance growth hormone that enable them to look much mature past their years. But, this movie is not the only one that has their main characters becoming older than they should be as we can see the same thing in the likes of Hunger Games and of course, Divergent (Four was waay older in the movie!). The older age of Jonas make the love between him and Fiona believable although their love interests was not present in the book aside from the mention of Jonas having a wet dream "stirrings" in his gut for Fiona when he was younger. 

One of the other big changes in the adaptions can be seen on one of Jonas best friends, Asher. He was portrayed as more of a playful boy and was given the task of being an Assistant Director of Recreation in the book. However, in the movie he was elected as a pilot and he was the least playful person in the movie. He became serious, hardworking and soon to become the antagonist later on in the movie. The friendship between Jonas and Asher seems to have taken a darker turn as Asher seems to be envious of the closeness between Jonas and Fiona.

The Giver was portrayed differently in the movie. In the book he was clear-headed, friendlier and much like an old dear grandpa. Also, in the book, The Giver will lose the memories that was transferred to Jonas but in the movie, it was not the case. As of the beautiful sounds of music, Jonas will not know the sound of it in the book because he refused to take that memory from The Giver as he did not want The Giver to forget the sounds of music. In the movie, however, The Giver used a fancy gadget to show Jonas the memory of Ms. Rosemary (previous Receiver of Memory who failed) playing a piano. I am a bit sheepish to admit this but it took me awhile to realise that Ms. Rosemary was played by Taylor Swift! After a bit of head scratching, I finally realised who it was. It was her teeth, remarkably,  that really reminded me.
That teeth! I know that teeth!
The Chief Elder was also quite menacing in the movie which was oppositely so in the book. In fact, the Chief Elder was not even often mention in the book. It is quite frightening to think that the trend of futuristic women in Young Adult nowadays seems to be of menace and cold-hearted. What does this mean for the empowerment of future women leaders, I wonder.

The ending was not entirely similar as to the book. In fact, the only thing that was similar was that Jason ran away with Gabriel. Everything else took a different turn in the movie. First of all, all of the Fiona part was nonexistent in the book. Also, Jason did not punch Asher when Asher tried to stop him from leaving, primarily because Asher did not even know he was running away in the book. Besides, when Jonas ran away, he used bicycle and not motorcycle like in the movie. The moment when Jonas found the house lighted up "Christmas-like" was true to the book. 

The ending was as ambiguous as it was in the book. I was glad but there was the feeling similar to a heart- wrenching feeling that I got when I read the ending. I was saddened that I don't get to know what will happen to Jonas and the baby. I have yet to finish the whole series (I am up to the third book now) and I only hope that there is a closure. 

In all, this movie is a major success. It is not at all a disappointment. It stays true to the book most of the time. Although there were scenes and elements added and altered, it only make the movie so much better and did not whatsoever ruin the original story. It's truly rare that I am ever fully satisfied with a movie adaption before with only having a few on my list. The Giver, gladly, had made the cut. 

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