Magazine article U.S. Catholic

The Giver

Magazine article U.S. Catholic

The Giver

Article excerpt

THE GIVER

Directed by Phillip Noyce (The Weinstein Company, 2014)

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

It is difficult to explain why a film fails where a book succeeds. Often it is because our imaginations are so much more capable of developing rich scenes, understanding nuanced relationships, and perceiving subtle undercurrents of fear, evil, and love. It's rare for a book to be bettered when made into a film. Sadly, Lois Lowry's 1993 book The Giver is no exception.

The 2014 film adaptation closely follows the book's portrayal of a seemingly utopian society that has been structured to generate "sameness" to avoid all things bad, such as war, starvation, and violence. Unfortunately, there's also nothing terribly good. There is no complete human experience until Jonas is chosen by the Giver to become the next Receiver of Memory and to solely bear the burden of knowing all that has been lost in the past: every memory, every pain, every facet of love. But Jonas believes these belong to the community, and so he begins to return all the memories--bright and dark--that make us human. …

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