The Giver

Tuesday 7 October 2014
Peter W. Sheehan, Kairos Catholic Journal
Starring Brenton Thwaites, Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep, Odeya Rush, Cameron Monaghan and Alexander Skarsgard. Directed by Phillip Noyce. Rated M (Mature themes and violence). 97 mins.

THIS American film is based on the 1993 novel of the same name by Lois Lowry, and is set in the year 2048 where a seemingly happy but colourless community lives in a world where there are no memories of the past. All such memories have been erased.

One of the community is given the position of ‘Receiver of Memories’ and he is trained to do that by ‘The Giver’, who knows everything about the real world that exists ‘elsewhere’. Jonas (Brenton Thwaites) is The Receiver in the film who receives memories of what went before from the last Receiver, who now becomes The Giver (Jeff Bridges).

It is the task of The Receiver to advise the Chief Elder (Meryl Streep) and her Elders wisely about major decisions the community should make. Distressed at what he now knows, and overwhelmed by his emotions and memories (he is exposed to ‘sights and sounds no words could describe’), Jonas confides in his friend, Fiona (Odeya Rush), and decides that the community should be given their memories back. After running away, Jonas is declared dangerous by the Chief Elder and is pursued by his friend, Asher (Cameron Monaghan), who is sent by the Chief Elder to eliminate him. Jonas, however, survives because of his friendship with Asher, and, as he passes ‘the boundary of memories’, memories are released back into his community.



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