“The Giver” is a must-see

By Hannah Mason, Assistant Editor 

These days, dystopian sci-fi is a big deal in the movie industry. And the trend continues with the latest book-to-movie adaptation, “The Giver.”

Though not met, unfortunately, with nearly as high acclaim as its dystopian sci-fi cousins “The Hunger Games” and “Divergent,” “The Giver” is a movie that is worth seeing. Not only is it well-made and casted, but this is a movie that also makes you think.

“The Giver” is the first in a science fiction book series by Lois Lowry, first published in 1993. It was a book which attempted to raise questions about certain political and social issues of the day, and it remains a fixture on some middle school and high school reading lists.

Just over twenty years later, the movie adaptation opens the classic story up to a whole new generation. And it seems fitting, to me, that one of the first young adult dystopian books would finally join its descendants in the recent filmmaking trend.

The story, on the page and on the big screen, is set in a futuristic society where people are grouped together into isolated Communities with no outside contact. There is no disharmony, violence, or disagreement of any kind within the Communities, the Elders choose the perfect job for each member of society upon graduation from school, and the perfect family units are paired together by the government. It’s a place where lying is against the rules and the weather is always sunny and warm. And the system is helped along because anyone too old or sick to contribute pleasantly and effectively to society is simply, even ceremoniously released to a place outside the Community called Elsewhere.

Everything is perfect… Until young hero Jonas is chosen to train as the next Keeper of Memory.

During Jonas’s training, a man called The Giver begins to transfer long-ago memories of society over to Jonas, and the more memories he sees, the more he realizes how imperfect his current society really is.

As it turns out, Jonas’s world is not quite as black and white as it appeared, literally and figuratively!

Whether or not you’ve read the book, and also whether or not you’re a science fiction fan, this is a movie worth getting into. In a visual way, the movie adaptation presents us with a picture of what our fictional future might look like if we let seemingly desirable qualities like political correctness, world peace, and equality go to dangerous extremes.

All at once entertaining, emotional, and action-filled, “The Giver” provides a movie-going experience that challenges you to think outside the box—or, in this case, the Community.

With that in mind, this might be just the movie to get you back in the mindset you’ll need to get back into the classroom and back to answering and asking questions of your own.

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