Before watching the last movie adaptation of a book (The Book Thief), I debated a great deal and asked everyone I knew for their opinion of the film. I was afraid of spoiling the way I felt about the book. I was actually very impressed by the film.
With “The Giver” it was different. This book was something our boys and I had shared and enjoyed. The moment we heard that the movie was being released we decided to watch it together. So I was committed! I did so eagerly despite the last time we went to a movie based on a book I had shared with them when they were younger – “Cheaper By The Dozen” is a great book and a terrible movie! But when you have sons in their 20’s and they want to go to a movie with you, you move quickly!
I’m incorrigible. I compared the book and movie mercilessly. I found the movie to be pretty good. The visuals are beautiful and the acting is good. I don’t expect a movie to be a replica of the book, that doesn’t work. So I was o.k with some of the changes they made. And I think they managed to show the community quite well in a short time.
But I missed more of what Jonas went through to be able to understand what the Giver was showing him. It’s against his entire life indoctrination. And most of all I was troubled by the change regarding the friends sticking together. I know they needed to make more of the love story for the movie to attract an audience and needed the action sequences with the friend, but in the book Jonas is very much alone, cut off from his peers. Which is one of the reasons its such a potent book for teens who feel different.
Still, I’m glad I saw it. And it was a great family outing!