Most of you have probably read the book, “The Giver.” It’s the children’s version of “1984,” and “Brave New World,” and the predecessor of all Young Adult dystopia novels. Which are apparently a huge thing right now, and I wouldn’t mind if there weren’t so many love triangles! It’s getting ridiculous…
The book version of “The Giver” had the slightest tinge of a romance, in that 12-year old Jonas develops a crush on his friend Fiona, but these are promptly eliminated with pills designed to take care of that issue. The book is mainly about a boy realizing that everything that he knew is wrong; there is a thing called color, another called music and in the time before there were Communities, people lived with their biological parents and siblings, and they felt things: both good and bad. Jonas learns about all these things from the Receiver of Memory, who he calls the Giver, because he is being trained to take his place. It’s an amazing book, full of symbolism and emotion. It’s terrible to see Jonas go through so much and make such difficult decisions, especially at such a young age.
The movie ages Jonas up to about sixteen, and has him played by a twenty-three year old (I get it. You’ll get more people if he’s hot but other than that, why?)
This makes all his actions seem more ridiculous, and idiotic in the film.
It also makes his feelings towards his friend Fiona more intense, and a bit odd especially considering that most of the time, she really doesn’t know what he’s doing. The concept of kissing and affection is absolutely foreign to her.
The movie also changes around some of the most basic plot points of the novel, in order to make it more “action-oriented.”
The action happens in the last third of the movie, and seems to exist only to make the movie more marketable to the “tween/young teen” crowd.
For example, in the novels, pills are distributed only to block out romantic feelings while in the movie injections are given to all citizens in order to block all emotions.
There are other book-to-movie differences: the movie incorporated an unneeded villain, the Chief Elder, whose only goal was to stop Jonas, while in the book, the Giver (and therefore Jonas) was always contacted by the Elders before they made any major decisions and that the identifying “Giver” mark was changed from light eyes to a birth mark.
If you would like to compare the two, read the book and go out to see the movie. You will see major differences. While I understand that books and movies are two different mediums, I feel as though they could have tried harder with “The Giver,” especially since they’ve been working on a film adaptation for ages. It’s disappointing to wait for so many years, only to get a movie that won’t even be remembered by next summer. Percy Jackson fans, I now know how you feel…I never want to go through this kind of pain again.