Book to Movie Adaptation Review: The Giver


Release date: August 11th 2014

Director: Phillip Noyce

Starring: Brenton Thwaites, Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep


 The adaptation changed a lot of the book, but the modifications made sense. The book was short and written in a rather blunt and direct manner, no use of irony, sarcasm, humor or metaphor. It really served one purpose and it was to demonstrate how things worked in that community and the response that Jonas had to learning the truth about his life and the world. The movie HAD to “flesh out” the characters and some of the ideas included in the book to make an interesting visual story and to add a bit of action. The characters age was also changed, because seeing 12 years old graduate and start their life jobs on screen would have been awkward, so they made them 18, which made sense. They added a slight romance that was only hinted in the book, probably to make it more interesting, and it worked. They changed the character of Asher, Jonas best friend, and gave him a lot more importance in the movie, as well as the chief elder who was more of a villain on screen than in the book, but again, it made sense. The advanced technology was well presented, and I was glad that the movie was in black and white in the beginning, until Jonas saw colors. One thing that bothered me was that in the last part of the movie, when Jonas escapes with an infant baby in his arms and go through terrible weather walking for what seems like days, they didn’t explain HOW the baby hadn’t died, (it is in the book) and it made it seem quite unrealistic. I enjoyed the acting and casting decisions. I give the movie on its own a 8/10 and the adaptation a 7/10.

Click here to see my book review of The Giver by Lois Lowry

Click here to see the movie’s IMDB page


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