Sunday, 21 September 2014

The Giver (2014)

Oh, look. Another YA adaptation set in a future world where a dystopia is posing as a utopia where there is a highly controlling government led by a big name actor/actress (this time it's Meryl Streep, believe it or not) that categorises everybody and a protagonist who is 'different', etc.

The plot, in more detail, is about a boy called Jonas, who sees the world differently and is selected to take on the role of a memory keeper in a society where only one person is allowed to have any memory of the past to provide some form of guidance. The past memory keeper is Jeff Bridges, and he has to pass the memories on to Jonas. The trouble is that the society has removed emotion and so the sudden influx of 'memories' leads to Jonas questioning the way things are which leads to him being seen as a danger. And it turns out that, for some reason, if Jonas crosses a barrier somewhere everyone will acquire the memories he has. Which isn't treated as such a big deal (despite these memories not being the person's own) but I'd assume that the situation would actually be something akin to that bit in 'Bioshock Infinite' where Booker and Elizabeth have jumped realities and come across the guards who have memories of dying in the other reality.

Even though a lot of the film is overused recycling of so many other things, I feel that some of it could have worked. Unfortunately, I thought the film was poorly put together, with unconvincing special effects, poor direction, and lazy 'artistic' decisions. Among other things. It didn't do much to cover up the generic nature of the story nor did it provide much in the way of entertainment. Any attempt at 'depth' or 'emotion' usually came in the form of a rushed moment where it comes off as exposition rather than character exploration. It was all-round sloppy film-making and, with the preceding adaptations of other books aimed at the same audience, rather unnecessary.

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