Utopia Unraveled

The Giver

giver_ver9

Director: Phillip Noyce

Stars: Meryl Streep, Brenton Thwaites, Alexander Skarsgard, Jeff Bridges, Katie Holmes, Taylor Swift, Odeya Rush, Cameron Monaghan

Australian director Phillip Noyce (Rabbit Proof Fence, Salt) takes on the big screen adaptation of the 1993 Lois Lewry allegorical Sci-Fi novel The Giver.

Shot mostly in Cape Town, with the iconic Greenpoint stadium as its main focal point, The Giver follows a Utopian society on a mesa, a sort of elevated plateau where a seemingly perfect yet ominously drugged society exists. Imagine a society with no colour, no differences, no desires and no envy, a society in which all the deeper human emotions have been eradicated.

Brenton Thwaites last seen in Maleficent, has a more prominent role as Jonas a young man who definitely realizes that this version of Utopia in which he graduates into is not quite as it seems. The Utopian Society is presided over by the Elder, in a strange casting choice for Meryl Streep to appear in a sci-fi thriller. Naturally Streep inhabits the role with just the right amount of malice and omniscience to scare the citizens of this perfect world.

giver_ver3

Upon his graduation, Jonas is assigned to be the receiver of knowledge and must leave his constructed parents played in a deadpan fashion by Katie Holmes and Alexander Skarsgard and visit The Giver, a bearded and wise Jeff Bridges, who transports all of the society’s so called memories, painful and exhilarating to Jonas via human touch.

giver_ver6

The Giver being the keeper of knowledge naturally lives in a library called The Edge, beyond which is Elsewhere. This film is purely allegorical and philosophical and whilst Jonas’s courageous attempt to escape the Utopian society are fraught with potential danger and deception, his rebellion is not based on a motivated counterpoint, nor for that matter is the real reason for creating such a bland uniform society. In essence Jonas is escaping a bizarre pristine gated community.

The Giver could have been a real significant sci-fi thriller yet despite some flamboyant directorial embellishments which include a whole series of memory flashbacks of human emotions, wars and iconic leaders, the film does not live up to its hype as something truly astounding unlike the Tom Cruise sci fi Oblivion. There are no twists or turns, more an allegorical tale about the importance of celebrating difference and appreciating individuality, two aspects which this Utopia suppresses ultimately leading to Jonas’s rebellion.

Despite the casting of Oscar heavy weights Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep, The Giver comes off as a mediocre version of The Hunger Games without the intensity or the violence. Thwaites as an actor holds his own as Jonas while the rest of the cast seem to pale literally in comparison except for the baby Gabriel, whom Jonas is desperate to save.

Then again babies don’t need to act, they are spontaneous. Its only constructed organized society which restricts adult individuality and creates a utopian order which given time will always unravel naturally. The Giver is bland viewing shot alternatively in black and white with dashes of colour, a narrative without much cathartic release, leaving lots of implausibility and questions. The film also stars Country Music Singer Taylor Swift as the mysterious Rosemary, Odeya Rush as Jonas’s love interest Fiona and Cameron Monaghan as his dubious friend Asher.

Comments are closed.

Film Directors & Festivals
Reviews and Awards
Review Calender
September 2014
M T W T F S S
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930  
  • ‘Fear the Walking Dead’ Renewed for Season 8 at AMC, Kim Dickens to Return in Second Half of Season 7
    “Fear the Walking Dead” has been renewed for Season 8, with former series star Kim Dickens set to return to the zombie apocalypse series. The announcement was made on “Talking Dead” following the series finale of “The Walking Dead: World Beyond.” Dickens will make her return to the series in the second half of Season […]
    Joseph Otterson
  • Korea Box Office: New Restrictions Loom, ‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’ Fails to Scare
    “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” crept into the background at the South Korean box office over the weekend, as the top three films remained unchanged. Nationwide aggregate revenue was a lowly $5.06 million as audiences avoided cinemas ahead of new health restrictions. Cinemas, along with bars, restaurants, gyms and museums, are among the high-risk places affected by a […]
    Patrick Frater
  • Hrithik Roshan, Saif Ali Khan’s ‘Vikram Vedha’ Starts Second Shoot (EXCLUSIVE)
    Bollywood film “Vikram Vedha,” starring Hrithik Roshan and Saif Ali Khan, has wrapped its first shooting schedule in Abu Dhabi and commenced the second one in Lucknow, India. The film, which also stars Radhika Apte in a pivotal role, is a remake of 2017 Tamil-language hit “Vikram Vedha,” directed by writer-directors Pushkar and Gayatri and […]
    Naman Ramachandran
  • ‘Succession’: Roman’s D— Pic Threatens to Blow Up GoJo Merger Ahead of Finale
    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you haven’t watched “Chiantishire,” the eighth episode of “Succession” Season 3. After accidentally sending his father a dick pic, Roman may have just blown up Waystar Royco — or, will it be called GoJo Royco? Amid recent complaints of a slower-paced, less exciting Season 3, this penultimate episode shakes […]
    Jordan Moreau
  • ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ Review: An Unmemorable Broadway Musical Banks on Familiar Material
    A face smothered in banana cream has already sprung out from behind a refrigerator door. A silicone breast plate has been scorched over a stovetop. A man dressed like Margaret Thatcher on her day off has boogied with a vacuum cleaner. “Mrs. Doubtfire,” a polished and pandering new musical from Wayne and Karey Kirkpatrick and […]
    Gordon Cox
  • Read More
    Different providers offer different cell phones, so take a look at the options from each provider to choose the right one for you. You may also want to look into any promotions that the providers have to offer, such as free cell phones in exchange for signing a contract. Tags: 2gmhass90