Yet another story of a future utopia/dystopia where a handful of disgruntled people who know the truth want to bring it all to an end. As usual in the past few years, the hero here is a precocious teenager and the villain is an old person. But there is an old person who is sort of a hero as well, as with all of these kinds of films, it’s up for debate whether or not destroying the world is a good idea. Or if, in fact, there are any heroes here.
In Book of Eli, it was decided that the Bible was such an evil book that every copy needed to be destroyed to insure the safety of the future-yeah, that worked out great. And so it is in The Giver, where a colony of humans has turned themselves into emotionless and heartless Vulcans. It’s a story filled with cliches and impossible science. A world without color, literally, the first twenty minutes or so are shown in black and white. And yet, amid this totally transformed world, we have one person who remembers what it was to be human. I guess this is like keeping atomic bombs around, even though we know it’s a bad idea to use them.
The Giver just didn’t make much sense. It did stop just short of going for that whole Solyent Green thing, but we were never really told where all those apples everyone had come from. Or how the weather was controlled. Or how everyone’s emotions were controlled by both a daily dose of drugs and some invisible force field. If one or the other works, then how could our hero get around it by avoiding his drugs? And how would the drugs stop working just because the force field was broken?
But even putting aside the general impossibility of all the ‘science’ in this ideal society, why would you want there to be someone, even just one person, with the keys to destroying your ideal world? If you know, when setting up this world, that it is evil, why set it up in the first place? And if you design it to ultimately collapse, why just leave that choice in one person’s hands? I never saw that there was any safeguard in place to keep the wise old fart in the mountain from jumping off the cliff or from getting hit by a falling drone.
This might just be one more book that should have never been made into a film.