What “The Giver” Took

Recently, my mom and I went to go see the new movie based on Lois Lowry’s book, The Giver. Because I loved the book so much, I was so excited when I found out that The Giver was being made into a movie. I don’t quite remember how young I was when I first read The Giver. My mom read it aloud to my older brother and I was immediately hooked. A couple years later, it was my turn to read The Giver for school. Boy, was I excited! I remember how much I loved it the first time, and the second time I read it, I fell in love all over again. Throughout the years, I’ve picked it up again and read bits and pieces of it. Trust me, I never ever re-read books, but The Giver is a complete exception. I absolutely love, love, love The Giver! I honestly can’t describe to you how much I love this book. You would think that because this best-seller is so incredibly popular they would make the movie as close to the book as they could (should, must, needed to, wish they had). Well, no. No they did not. I already knew that I would be disappointed when the main character, Jonas, was like 18! Ok, so he’s soooo supposed to be 12. As usual, Hollywood turned this movie into a dramatic love story (I hate romance novels so therefore, The Giver isn’t one). They made Jonas look like a rebellious, wild, blinded in his love type of guy. They also made the utopian society and government look not half as bad as it was in the book. To top it all off, the most important and coolest part of the book was rushed and less meaningful. As Jonas was chosen to be the new Receiver of Memories (AKA the only normal person who felt pain, saw color, and had feelings), he had to be trained by the former Receiver of Memories (AKA The Giver). When Jonas receives the memories from The Giver, it is an emotional and touching moment. In the new movie, it’s not quite as touching, memorable, and moving as it was in the book. Plus, the movie was way too short. Ok, so I’m done criticizing this movie, so here are some positives. The acting was really good, the filming was incredible, and the general feeling the viewer had throughout the movie was great. That’s about it. So why did I just write a review to The Giver? Here’s why: because the book was changed just to fit our society’s “norm” for teenagers and this bothers me immensely. To make this movie “popular”, they made Jonas cool and rebellious (don’t get me wrong, Jonas is awesome, like I want to name my child Jonas;), they added a stupid love story, and they made Jonas older so they could attract a more “mature” audience. In other words, they made another typical, dumbed-down, teen movie. Again, proving that society believes that all teens must be the same, think the same, and act the same. This, of course, is not true. To make money, they tailored an amazing, thought-provoking story to fit society’s mold. Society believes that, in order for a “teen” movie to be successful, there must be a sappy, teen romance and a rebellious kid. The point of the book: for its readers to realize all the blessings they have and everything they take for granted. It makes you appreciate the world you live in and the beauties of life we so often neglect. The point of the movie: it’s ok to run off with your feelings and be reckless because that’s a normal, human thing to do especially if you’re a teenager. This isn’t true and it bothers me so, so, so much. What happened to individuality? Must all teens be the same? We are told yes, but the true answer is no. DO NOT SETTLE FOR SOCIETY’S NORM. Be yourself, whether you’re a teen, or not. Let the world stare at you in awe as you challenge yourself to do great, out-of-the-ordinary things. Honestly, choose to be the amazing you that you know you are. As the book The Giver says, “It’s the choosing that’s important, isn’t it?”– The Giver, Lois Lowry.      


One comment

  1. V · August 20, 2014

    I’ve been meaning to see this. I didn’t know it was out yet.

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