All too fa­mil­iar

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Film -

YOUNG adult novel adap­ta­tion fa­tigue sets in with the lat­est, The Giver (a project that ac­tor and pro­ducer Jeff Bridges has tried to make for 20 years) of­fer­ing even more deja vu for film go­ers.

Hot on the heels of The Hunger Games and Di­ver­gent, The Giver tells the fa­mil­iar story of a young hero learn­ing there is more to life than his re­stricted ex­is­tence run by a gov­ern­ment with rigid rules.

In the fu­ture, a com­mu­nity of sur­vivors of a dev­as­tat­ing war have mem­o­ries of pain and suf­fer­ing wiped and live utopian lives.

Teenager Jonas ( Bren­ton Th­waites) is cho­sen as a re­ceiver – one al­lowed to have mem­o­ries of life be­fore the war leaked to him via the Giver (Jeff Bridge).

It is a risky move be­cause it did not end well for the last per­son to be cho­sen as a re­ceiver 10 years ago and chief elder (Meryl Streep) is afraid his­tory will re­peat.

The more Jonas learns, the more he is will­ing to risk his life to al­low oth­ers the free­dom to ex­pe­ri­ence more emo­tions.

Though The Giver novel came first, the film has ar­rived in the midst of young adult novel adap­ta­tion phe­nom­e­non.

The trou­ble here is that they are telling very sim­i­lar sto­ries of a rebel re­sist­ing au­thor­ity.

The only in­no­va­tion in the sto- ry­telling is the use of black and white in the be­gin­ning and colour that grad­u­ally bleeds in as Jonas ex­pe­ri­ences more mem­o­ries.

Of course this is not an orig­i­nal tech­nique (see Pleas­antville), yet it gives a visual flour­ish when ev­ery other as­pect feels too laboured and fa­mil­iar.

Jeff Bridges and Bren­ton Th­waites star in the novel adap­ta­tion of The Giver.

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