So, yeah: there are only two parts of the Earth as the people of Sameness see it: Sameness, and Elsewhere. Beyond Elsewhere, nobody has been there and gotten back to explain their experience. There are ceremonies where everyone dresses the same, where people are given which job they do, followed by a "Thank you for your childhood." Plus, there's always an emotionless "I apologize." Really, there's nothing in here that's too dissimilar to the novel, except for a nice chase scene that really works well. When the main character, Jonas, ends up with one of the most important jobs in society and meets the only person in society who holds the memories of pain and love, The Giver, played by Jeff Bridges, who went to Lois Lowry a long time ago to ask for a movie adaptation that has finally arrived, memories of weddings and dancing and even pictures of The Berlin Wall being taken down and that man who stood in the way of tanks on camera, and adorable elephants all come together into his life and no one else knows these. Jonas decides to go against his rules and show these memories to his new baby brother, Gabriel, and this baby actor was so cute and believable, I teared up a bit and almost forgot I was watching a performance. In Steven Spielberg's E.T., when Henry Thomas auditioned for the role of Elliot, he was being told that his friend had to be taken away because the government was in charge, and he was thinking about his dog, and he got the part easily while crying. Gabriel's performances aren't too dissimilar. The movie adaptation also kind of enhances things that were hard to picture in the book.
The truth is, several weeks ago, when my sister, my friends Liam and Elise and I went to the theatre, it was this or Guardians of the Galaxy or TMNT, which I had already seen, and we picked TMNT, and now that I've seen The Giver, I'm glad we picked TMNT, even though I gave it a lower grade than this movie. That's because TMNT is giant roller coaster fun, something you pay to see in the theatres. The Giver is more of a calm drama that touched me almost as much as the novel. A movie like this is more for renting on DVD than rushing out to theatres. The characters are a little dull and emotionless, but perhaps that is the whole point, and this movie does so the best it can to just ninety-two minutes.