Title: The giver – Il mondo di Jonas
Original title: The giver
Director: Phillip Noyce
Main actors: Brenton Thwaites, Jeff Bridges, Odeya Rush
Production: Notorious picture
Running time: 1h 40m
What if suddenly the society chooses to remove the pain and with it the feelings that creates it? The giver, based on Lois Lowry‘s novel, answers this question showing us an advanced society who avoids feelings thanks to daily injections. Ruled by a council of elders, families are gathered thanks to a calculation of affinities and periodically, with meetings that celebrate age transition, to every component is given an assignment. During one of this meetings, young Jonas (Brenton Thwaites) finds out that he is chosen to be the keeper of the memories of the past. His task is important because together with emotions, humanity has decided to sacrifice its history and its wisdom. Jonas will be educate by an elder, called “the giver”, who will lead him to the discovery of feelings and free will.
We don’t know when the story tooks place, but we know that the society chose this way of living after a great pain. The monochromatism used by the society is a reminder of the standardization and suggests the absence of all the shades that makes life worth living and not a repetition of the same things every day.
Jonas is introduced like a special boy before the assignation of his task, in effect he poses a lot of questions and sees some of the colors that others don’t see. He will make a strong bond with his friend Fiona (Odeya Rush) and even more with the giver. The giver appears tired of carrying the burden of the memories of the world and drags with him the consequences of great failures. He represents the mistakes of the past that have been understood but no one has the strength to mend for. For this reason he is in contrast with Jonas, who portrays hope.
Due to the lack of adventure scenes, the rithm of the narration is a little bit slow. The first half of the story in particular can lead a viewer without patience to give up the film. This is the great weakness of the the movie, that is saved only by the depth of the plot. Special effects are simple and the most suggestive is the transition from black and withe to colors.
Regarding the actors, there isn’t a performance that stands out from the others and this is a pity because some actors were the great: Meryl Streep, Katie Holmes and Alexander Skarsgard. Moreover I think Tailor Swift‘s cameo, because of his shortness, is only a smoke and mirror.
This educational novel includes very strong themes hidden in the plot that make the viewers reflect. For example, we find the negativity of a communist and of a totalitarian regime and the theme of the capital punishment at which many attend and few take the trouble to do something against. There is also the persecution of the outcast that is the first thing that brings society to the collapse. Moreover, seeing all the scenes that were chosen to characterize humanity for better or for worse leaves a sense of tenderness and the will of doing something in order that the future will not become corrupt. Surely this movie is not a masterpiece but it is, in my opinion, a light way to spend time and to reflect, above all for the younger to which the film is addressed.