Giver, The

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +3

Content: +2

Brenton Thwaites, Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep, Katie Holmes, Taylor Swift. Sci-Fi drama. Directed by Phillip Noyce.

FILM SYNOPSIS: In a seemingly perfect community, without war, pain, suffering, differences or choice, a young boy is chosen to learn from an elderly man about the true pain and pleasure of the "real" world. Itís known as a dystopic society wherein good intensions have led the way to a bland but pleasing conformity. This is the rub. In the words of Derek Flint in Our Man Flint, ďItís your idea of perfection, not mine.Ē

PREVIEW REVIEW: I suppose, as with any great art, this handsomely produced movie will say different things to different people. For some it may contain an indictment against anything, including religion that demands from us uniformity. But is it an allegory for existential reasoning, or can spiritual conceptions also be found in the production? For me it reveals the importance and sanctity of life. It even suggests that we lift our heads up from iPod screens in order to witness the wonders around us. It also (again, for me) implies that it is menís directives that make drowns out of us, not an obedience to our Creator.

The director filmed much of the story in B&W, in order to showcase the blahness of a culture wherein, if I may use a quote from Network, ďall necessities provided, all anxieties tranquilized, all boredom amused.Ē Then, like the film Pleasantville, once views of hope, faith and love are experienced, vivid color is added. Iím not sure the filmmaker is suggesting that a relationship with Christ is what leads to true contentment, but as in Loganís Run, it does send a message concerning the dangers found in a so-called man-made utopian way of life.

There are many freethinkers who want us to become more venturous and more diverse, while at the same time demand the embrace of government as the end all for our fulfillment. So, whether on purpose or despite themselves, those who brought this story to the screen have indicted many institutions that todayís American citizens now sanction.

For example: at one point in the film, a baby is given a serum to the brain that kills it. The person giving the injection sees no wrong in the process, as the baby is not living up to societyís expectations. Surely this was a condemning of the act of abortion. Can it be seen any other way?

Other such examples in the film point out the destructive embrace of a government that stresses manís directives over Godís. Surely, this was not the intent of the filmmaker. For Hollywood filmmakers donít do such things. But thatís what the film did for me.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Walden Media

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: None

Obscene Language: None

Profanity: None

Violence: A brief, disturbing depiction of war is seen; a baby is given a shot in the brain, which kills it; the body is then disposed of; a couple other violent acts are show, but only briefly.

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: None

Other: None

Running Time: 94 minutes
Intended Audience: Mature viewers

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