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Trivia / Goofs
Times of India
Jonas (Thwaite) lives in a utopian society that celebrates conformity and uniformity to preserve peace. He is chosen to be the next 'Receiver of Memory' and learn about the primal feelings of the past world. The more he learns, the more he realizes how fake his carefully engineered society is.
A squeaky-clean city is portrayed in flat monochrome (a visual metaphor for a society controlled by a rigid code of rules, where individualism and the questioning of authority are discouraged) and is perched on a hilltop and surrounded entirely by clouds.
Its inhabitants dress more or less the same, aren't allowed to hold hands in public and they eat food that looks like it was cooked by a robot. Narrator and protagonist Jonas has a mom (Holmes) who repeatedly tut-tuts him, his dad (Skarsgard) and little sister when they say the 'wrong' things because in their perfect world, their entire lexicon is monitored by the seemingly benevolent Chief Elder (Streep). Emotions are excised from daily life and townsfolk are even told what time to go to sleep.
All of this is done because it is believed a machine-like existence will keep mankind's ills (wars, famine, deforestation, etc.) away from them. The Elder assigns people job roles in the manner of an assembly line sorting products. After Jonas is given his important role, the Receiver (Bridges, suitably grizzled) has to pass on these memories to Jonas.
Jonas is established as free-thinking, curious and even rebellious, and so the idea of giving insightful and revelatory thoughts to someone who has the potential to upset the carefully constructed order of things seems puzzling and even illogical.
Despite the impressive cast (Taylor Swift has a cameo), performances are uneven. Bridges and Streep stand out but the others are somewhat unconvincing. Conceptually, there are also bits reminiscent of *The Matrix* some Orwellian Big Brother ideology and dashes of *Divergent* in an overall attempt to convey the film's core message - do we sacrifice pain and pleasure in the quest to attain a 'perfect' existence?
Singer Taylor Swift was offered the part of Rosemary after the makers attended her concert in Los Angeles
The Giver is based on a 1993 novel of the same name by Lois Lowry
The film does that successfully creating a wondrous, immersive world with round-headed kid characters. It&rsquo;s a cheery, old-fashioned cartoon film. Adapted from the original comics that appeared in a gag-a-day format in the newspapers, it&rsquo;s refreshing to see gags on the big screen. But for the adult audience, is it engaging enough? In a world where the only real threat is a red toy fighter plane &ndash; that has allusions to World War I &ndash; the story feels too predictable. I understand that people who&rsquo;ve read the comics may have a different trip, but others may struggle to fully involve themselves with the ups and downs in the narrative. Another minor grudge I have is the absolute redundancy of 3D, with the technology not adding much to the experience.