The Giver, Hollywood English Film movie Review, Johnson Thomas, Rating: * * 1/2

The Giver, Hollywood English Film movie Review, Johnson Thomas, Rating: *  * 1/2 

English Film review
Johnson Thomas
Dysfunctional rendering of Dystopia
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#SinghamReturns(Hindi) Rating: *  * #RohitShetty #AjayDevgn  #KareenaKapoorKhan  #Reliance #UniversalPR #ParagDesai
#TheGiver( English) Rating:*  * ½  Lois Lowry’s young-adult novel gets adapted for the big screen but since there isn’t much of a back story for this high-concept disturbia, and without the myth to validate it’s existence, feels very much like an experience in suspended animation. You just wonder what all the fuss was about? The long list of thespians enshrining this flick have little to do other than look stoic and expressionless! #TopEntertainment #SaileshPathak #MerylStreep #JeffBridges #KatyHolmes #TaylorSwift #PhillipNoyce #AlexanderSkarsgaard

#Rege(Marathi) Rating: *  *  * ½  #MaheshManjrekar #PushkarShrotri #SantoshJuvekar #ArohWelankar #AbhijitPanse #CineshorePR #MaheshLimaye #RavindraKarmarkar #ShivkumarParthasarathy

Film: The Giver

Director: Phillip Noyce

Rating: *  * ½

Synopsis:A young man living in a future where complacency is valued above all else discovers the sinister secrets that hold his fragile society together after being selected to become the Receiver of Memory in this adaptation of author Lois Lowry's Newbery Medal-winning young-adult novel. Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep, Brenton Thwaites, Alexander SkarsgÃ¥rd, and Katie Holmes star in a film from director Phillip Noyce (Rabbit-Proof Fence, The Quiet American)

This cinematic adaptation of Lois Lowry’s young adult novel is not as happening and busy as we expected(considering that it is targeted at Young adults a la ‘hunger Games). Proposing a conceptual world where everyone and everything  is plagued by sameness, without financial inequality but with a hierarchical system of power, Lowry set out to render the world in a different color. In the film Director Phillip Noyce tries to showcase that sentiment by using black and white and grey scale with the fruits and outside world being the sole beneficiaries of color. But even that is not to last long because…

Before we go onto the film lets understand where Lowry’s novel came from.       Originally published in 1993, around six years before “The Matrix,” Lowry’s novel was designed on the basis of a patchwork of ideas borrowed from Aldous Huxley, George Orwell, Jack Finney and Ray Bradbury, some of the foremost writers of modern allegory. So the new designer world in Lowry’s conceptual Utopia is totalitarian in nature, and therefore peaceable. But that’s not the case even though most of the inhabitants are made to forgo emotions in order to live without attachments or prejudice. But the exceptions to the rule, very few and far between, find themselves fighting the pre-programmed system from within and outside and that creates ripples enough to categorise them as a danger to the new world order.
The community, whose residents had achieved an ideal of a classless, conflict-free (and, seemingly race-free) society through the chemical suppression of emotion and the erasure of all suspect stimuli (including books, colors, weather, and sex) from the historical record, find their way of life threatened by the Receiver of Memory’s penchant for creating waves when entrusted with the task of preparing a chosen receptacle, Jonas( Brendan Thwaites) for the pivotal role in the community.   The Receiver of Memory, a grizzled community elder (Jeff bridges)charged with keeping all human experience from time immemorial catalogued inside his own understandably addled brain, is exempt from the rigorous burning of the past.

Director Phillip Noyce and screenwriters Michael Mitnick and Robert B. Weide have stayed reasonably faithful to the plot and characters but the wonder of the book and the questions it raises, appears missing. “The Giver” envisaged the horror of a society devoid of  war, famine and other forms of suffering and in the process taught us that man cannot control nature when he himself is susceptible. It was a metaphor for any organized rhetoric from the religious right or the bleeding heart espousing a society minus it’s ills. In the film, that part is represented by the character played by Meryl Streep, who orders the death of babies and elderly without batting an eyelid.

Jonas , in the novel is 12 years old, while in the movie he is touching 16 and is played by the 25-year-old Australian actor Brenton Thwaites.

The movie begins well enough, we are introduced to the community and its functional “dwellings” where Jonas lives with his dutiful but distant parents (Alexander Skarsgard and Katie Holmes) and younger sister, Lily (Emma Tremblay). Once he becomes the Reciever of piecemeal memories from the ageing Reciever, he starts rebelling. And it’s not action packed. It’s far more internalized and eventually motif fed in a sea of color. There’s a hint of suspense but it’s not exactly gripping. 
Screenwriters Michael Mitnick and Robert B. Weide grapple with the cinematic vision but without much success. There are no thrills as such to speak of , and the treatment is so bland as to leave you anemic.
Despite the modest budget(ny Hollywood Standards)Production designer Ed Verreaux and costume designer Diana Cilliers , manage togive the film a unique look which is further amplified by the low contrast black and white treatment employed by Noyce.  It did seem like it was the 1998 “Pleasantville,” in some respects.
As The Receiver, Bridges manages to lend charisma but the performance is routine. Thwaites, Streep, Sjaarsgard, Holmes, though in character, look like wraiths. The way the experience pans out, it’s unaffecting to say the least. And that’s the killer really!


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