Sunday, August 14, 2016

Movie review: The Giver

In the future a community has been created without pain and suffering at the expense of history and memories. When young Jonas is selected to receive all the memories for historical purposes he discovers the disturbing truth about life as he knows it.

Jeff Bridges (The Giver), Meryl Streep (Chief Elder), Brenton Thwaites (Jonas), Alexander Skarsgard (Dad), Katie Holmes (Mom), Odeya Rush (Fiona), Cameron Monaghan (Asher), Taylor Swift (Rosemary).

The Giver begins with some plot setup and character introductions before things quickly get much more interesting. In a society where pain, suffering, and choice have been removed by eliminating memory, history is passed from the Giver to the Receiver in the form of memories. When Jonas is selected as Receiver of Memories and begins his journey, he quickly finds the world is not as it seems. Learning to feel emotion, Jonas struggles with the current social structure, believing the experience of life has been denied.

Acting was good in The Giver with Thwaites doing very nicely in his lead role. Bridges was solid and fit his role nicely. Streep was good and can still project power on screen. Skarsgard and Holmes were good, but very subdued. Rush, Monaghan, and Swift in a cameo, along with the remainder of the cast were enjoyable.

Camera work, sets, and backgrounds are well done with a solid, authentic feel and fitting variety. Action scenes were mild but contributed well, as did CGI. Dialogue did a nice job of explaining things and moving the plot along. Sound and soundtrack were nice.

While The Giver at times is reminiscent of Logan's Run and a couple of other films, it is presented very well here and does a nice job of leading us to engagement of our own emotions. Aimed at younger viewers, adults should enjoy this as well and the film is a great choice for family movie night.

With some mild violence and disturbing images, The Giver should be fine for teens and above.

Released: 2014
Reviewed: 8.4.16
Star rating: 4 out of 5
Genre: Sci-Fi Drama, Sci-Fi Thriller, Thriller, Drama, Romance

copyright ©2016 Dave Riedel

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