The Giver Movie VS Book

By: Alexis Weidman

To begin, I’d like to say that this movie is not as bad as the trailer would tell. Most fans of the book series “The Giver” were disgusted and expected the worse after seeing the FIRST trailer, as did I. Soon after they released the 1st trailer, they released a 2nd trailer that was actually pretty good. It was suspenseful and very interesting. After that I felt that I absolutely had to see it.

I got to the movies with my popcorn and Coke and was prepared to see a train wreck, but found myself watching the exact opposite.  The beginning kind of struck me, as being a fan of the book, because the first thing I noticed was that the clothing wasn’t even right. In the book, everybody wore unshapely, oversized tunics. In the movie everyone wore different things, children in cache pants and t-shirts, female teens in dresses and loose fitting shirts (the adults dressed according to their jobs).

The second thing I noticed was more after Jonas had started his training as receiver and wanted to start sharing the new memories with his friends Fiona and Asher. This required Jonas breaking some rules in public openly which never happened in the book. This new open side of Jonas was not expected, because in the book he was very quiet and that was a small portion of why him and Asher were such good friends. Their opposite personalities made them compatible as best friends.

Now to address the elephant in the room; Jonas’ age. You see in the book Jonas was twelve.  Twelve. In the movie they say he is twelve even though he is like twenty. This is another reason why people were so aggravated by the trailers and previews. They didn’t understand how the innocent of Jonas and Gabe together as a family would feel once they saw that he was like ten years older. In the book people felt this connection between Gabe and Jonas. He knew that Gabe was special and needed to be protected and not to be Released. As it turns out, Gabe can not only receive memories himself but can be quite creative.

Another thing I despised about the movie was that Rosemary, played by Taylor Swift, was not entertaining at all. It was nice to see the Giver, played by Jeff Bridges, relate to Jonas in the way he had with Rosemary (before she was Released) but I did wish they had put more effort into the personality of Rosemary and who she really was.. All they really show is a couple of lessons her and the giver had, including the parts where they are playing the piano and sharing the memories of war. Other than that she wasn’t a very memorable character, like Jonas’s mother (who was played by Katie Holmes).

I feel the need to mention the fact that instead of the young adults and adults taking the medication for the “stirrings” that the children take it too. What next, babies are going to start taking it as well? And instead of it being a pill that they take, it’s an injection. This seemed like an overrated and unnecessary change. In the book it was a lot easier for Jonas to skip his medication because they were in a tablet/pill form. He didn’t need to put his blood on an apple and act suspicious.

Though, so far, I have only mentioned the painstaking parts of this movie, there are actually some parts that are surprisingly excellent. One of these parts is when you really see Jonas and the giver connecting. There is one scene where the giver is having a nightmare that includes a recollection of war and Jonas comes to help him and receives the dream unexpectedly. Jonas runs and the giver has a flashback to the time Rosemary ran away when she received a haunting memory. This was the very memory (which was a heartbreaking scene) that made her ask to be released.

A nice addition to the movie was the scene near the end when Fiona was about to be Released. Though it wasn’t in the book, I liked it very much. It put me on the edge of my seat and kept my eyes on the screen as Jonas’ dad (who is a nurturer/releaser) is about to release Fiona. Then, all of a sudden all the memories suddenly come flooding back to everyone’s minds and he stops.

Another charming moment was when Jonas was running with Gabe and made it to the boundary limit and found the Christmas cabin. Jonas and Gabe were really adorable in this scene, and you could really see the emotions of relief and happiness flood to Jonas’ face. This moment is very suspenseful and leaves you saying “WHATTTTT! WAIT! It can’t be over!”

One of my favorite scenes was when Fiona actually helped Jonas and Gabe escape; even though it wasn’t in the book. This scene shows how Fiona actually being alive and starting to realize that she kind of loves Jonas, even though the morning injection had prevented her from realizing it before.

Overall I think this was a pretty good movie. The action was very creative and could be very believable in a not-so-distant future. I would totally recommend the movie to anyone looking for a great suspenseful movie, with quality graphics, and enjoyable characters.  The book is still hard to compare to the movie, but I would still suggest you read the book series (all by Lois Lowry) to let yourself decide which one you prefer and pick out your favorite parts :

The Giver Series

  1. The Giver
  2. Gathering Blue
  3. Messenger
  4. Son

Thanks for reading! If you have any topic ideas on my next review leave it the comments below.