Quick review: The Giver

This weekend my wife found a bunch of movies in Hulu that were just there for the weekend. Last night we decided to watch The Giver based on the 1993 book by Lois Lowry. The basic premise of the film is that war and strife has been eliminated in society by the application of strict rules of order, and the chemical removal of emotions and all memories of the past. One elder however, has always been chosen as the keeper of memories, someone who knows the past, and keeps it alive in themselves. A young man is chosen as the new keeper of memories and the plot develops from there.

This was a decent movie, and I enjoyed the way that the dystopian future was presented. To create the impression of sameness in the community people cannot see color. As a viewer, we’re shown the world only in sepia tones, as the residents of the community see it. As the story develops, more and more color comes into the world. It’s a nice visual queue to help envelop you in the world.

The plot is based on a young adult novel, so there is a thread of teen love and angst as expected, but the story arc has compelling elements beyond the tropes. Jeff Bridges does a wonderful job in his character, bringing a lot of emotion and gravitas to the role. Because the plot is pretty straightforward, there aren’t many surprises, but it was fun to watch it all unfold. I certainly wouldn’t pay big bucks to see this film, but it was well worth the price of free on Hulu.

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