Film review: The Giver

A little knowledge can go a long way, but once we’ve bitten the apple, there is no turning back. Although never explicitly mentioned, the story of Adam and Eve is central to the events of The Giver, a new film by Phillip Noyce based on the popular young adult novel by Lois Lowry.

The film eschews explanations of its past in favor of focusing on the struggle of its main character to find the truth of the present, and while that leaves a number of questions for the uninitiated viewer, the film is at times a riveting and thoroughly moving, albeit transparently manipulated, experience.

Set in a black-and-white (but mostly gray) world somewhere on top of a flat mountain top, the world, known simply as “The Community,” is one of order, where people live in peace and tranquility with only a few basic rules, such as the imperative to use precise wording and never to lie, and subordination to the Elders. Everyone is born in a fertility clinic — only the strongest make it out the door — and is placed with a family determined by the authorities.

When children reach the age of 18, they are assigned the jobs they will do for the rest of their lives. If there is any resistance, or when they reach old age and can no longer work, they are banished to Elsewhere, somewhere beyond the clouds.

To read the full review, visit The Prague Post.

(Still of Odeya Rush and Brenton Thwaites in The Giver. Photo by David Bloomer – © 2014 The Weinstein Company. All Rights Reserved.)