Dunedin Railway Station, Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand - Saturday, December 30, 2023

Dunedin Railway Station, Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand - Saturday, December 30, 2023
Dunedin Railway Station, Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand - Saturday, December 30, 2023

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Movie Review: The Giver, Mon., Aug. 18

The Giver is a sci-fi movie set in the not-too-distant future. We learn of three friends who are about to graduate school and be assigned their life work by the Elders, chief of whom is Meryl Streep (looking old in a long gray wig). These three friends live in The Communities, housing built after The Ruin. All memory, emotion, color and diversity is erased by a morning shot of medicine required of all citizens. All citizens are treated the same regardless of skin color, occupation, and clothing (since all clothing is pretty much the same). All citizens follow the same rules which are iterated at the beginning of the movie.

We meet Jonas (Brenton Thwaite), one of the three friends, who sees and feels things differently. Jonas, Asher and Fiona have deemed themselves "friends forever."

At the "Ceremony of Growth" all graduates are assigned the work they will do as adults; their childhood is now over. "Thank you for my childhood." His friend Asher is assigned to be a Drone pilot and Fiona, a Nurturer, who takes care of infants in the nursery.

After being skipped over in the Ceremony proper, Jonas is singled out by the Chief Elder. He finds out he is "selected" (in other words very special) and will be Receiver of Memories. These are human history memories that range from terrible (wars) to beautiful and meaningful (weddings, music). Only The Giver and Receiver have these memories...even The Elders do not. The images are transmitted from The Giver (Jeff Bridges) to The Receiver via telepathic communication; however Jonas feels everything as if he is really experiencing it. The purpose of keeping memories alive is so the Receiver of Memories can advise The Elders on matters that concern The Communities.

The movie is black and white up until the point when Jonas begins to experience the past in his sessions with "The Giver" of memories. I loved this aspect of the movie. Slowly, items turn to color. The movie, along with Brenton's acting, gives the sense of wonder he feels when he rides his bike through the Communities; he experiences snow for the first time; he falls in love, and the intensity he feels during memories of the horror of war.

The other thing I loved about this movie was the calmness of it. Sure there were some exciting parts. In comparison to other futuristic movies recently, this one won my heart by its serenity and more cerebral approach (as opposed to smashing you in the gut with dark images and graphic violence a la Snowpiercer).

As Jonas learns more about the diversity of the past, he wants to share it with everyone much to the dismay of the Chief Elder, and his mother (Katie Holmes) who works in the Justice Department. Jonas learns of the dark side of his seemingly utopian community and feels a need to stop what is happening behind the scenes; things the citizens don't know because they're kept in the dark by their morning medication. This includes his father (Alexander Skarsgard) whose job is rather disturbing, but he knows not what he does.

There are biblical allegories as well. In one scene, Jason "tempts" his love interest, Fiona (Odeya Rush), with an apple that she can use to take her medication for her. All she has to do is put a drop of her blood on the apple before she sticks the apple on the medication needle. Then the machine will register she took her medication that day. Using the apple to deflect the medication will allow her the knowledge/emotion she currently lacks.

There is more to the movie that makes up the climax. I don't want to give it all away, but hopefully I've given you enough information that you will go to see it for yourself.

Once again the critics thought this movie was mediocre, but the fans love it. I give it 4-1/2 stars.

Monday night we watched American Ninja Warrior. I can't tell you how much I get into this show. I sit there and lean one way or the other, trying to make the contestants straighten out on the course. I tense up as they try to make it up the Warped Wall. Very good TV. I told Bob it's the TV sport I am most involved in. Both of us enjoy watching it.

The kitties were cute again tonight. Here they are...

Bowie and Sunnie
That's all I've got for Monday. Tuesday coming up.

Travel Bug out.


  1. We were wondering about this movie, now we want to see it. Also your cats are almost as ours :-)

    1. Yeah, from the previews I wasn't sure what to expect, but it was pretty good. In fact, I want to take Bob to see it. I'm sure I'll see lots of things I missed the first time.

  2. I always wonder about the critics.They never seem to agree with the fans. Either they love it and everyone else is left going wait,wha? Or the exact opposite.

    And aws to the herd kitties. So pretty as always:)

    1. Yeah like all the critics loved "Snowpiercer," but it is a dark, weird, kind of hopeless movie. Yucky.

      My herd babies say, "Thanks for the compliment."


Please let me know what you think, your experiences, and constructive criticism to make this blog stronger.