Saturday, August 23, 2014

the giver

For starters, I *have* read the book. I thought it was fantastically thought-provoking. It's unique - entirely different take on a dystopian, post-apocolyptic society than Hunger Games or Divergent or Fahrenheit 451. It's beautiful writing - a tapestry of thought and color and life.


I've seen the movie. It's different than the book. Not in premise, or even in sequence of events, but there's definitely a different feel.


Regardless of what purists would say it "should've been"....I found it profoundly moving. In fact, I'm going to venture and say it was one of the most beautiful films I've ever seen. Ever. And I've seen a few.

Here are some ways I've described it to friends:

- "A work of art."

- "Thought-provoking."

- "A celebration of life."

- "A celebration of love."

- "A return to true heroism and masculinity."

- "politically incorrect."

- "powerfully pro-life."

Aaaand....this post could get long very quickly.

I could go into a lot of different things about this movie, but I'm not. Here are three things I took away.

Courage and Heroism
Old movies used to have these smashing, fearless heroes who weren't daunted by anything, and new movies seem to have these passive or reluctant heroes - or "heroes" who really aren't good guys at all. And neither depiction is actually accurate to real life. Jonas, however, while obviously scared, does the right thing without hesitation. No waffling over the cost, no concern for himself, just plunging straight ahead. Yeah, he might be quaking in his boots, but when it comes to life and death, good and evil, he's not hovering in the gray area. That was refreshing.

Selfless Love
When given truth and the solution, Jonas can't hold it in. He cannot keep it to himself. His desire reminded me of what ours should be for evangelism - we have the cure for the deadly disease, why wouldn't we share it?!?! Even though it was breaking the rules, he began to subtly work to open the eyes of his loved ones to what they were missing. He risked everything - even his life - to better his community and bring joy to others, with honestly zero thought for himself.

Gabriel - the Celebration of LIFE.
THE BABY. Oh. My. Word. I'm pro-life, always have been, and this film has one of the clearest pro-life messages of any non-pro-life film I've seen. "They didn't do away with murder, they just call it something else." Also, The Giver shows a *beautiful* side of life in Jonas's love for his little adopted brother Gabe. Honestly, it was beautiful. It didn't make Jonas look weak, it made him look strong - and put fatherhood/brotherhood in an incredibly positive light. In another scene, Jonas gets to witness the birth of a baby into a real family and he cries. More emphasis on the absolute treasure and miracle of new life.

So that's .001 of my two cents. Like I said, I could say more about a lot of things.

Like how I teared up during the "life's happy little moments" color montage (if you've seen it, you know what I'm talking about it).

Or how I felt sick to my stomach (literally nauseous) that politically incorrect pro-life moment when Jonas learns the truth about Elsewhere.

Or how I cracked a huge grin when that picture of Nelson Mandela went up on the screen.

Or the fact that Taylor Swift was in the movie. HAHAHA. When she sat down at the piano, I half 
expected an acoustic rendition of "We-EEE are never, ever, EVER, getting back togetherrrrr..."

All four of us (Mama, Maddie, Ck and I) came away very thoughtful. Pondering. Catherine said she lay awake for a long time after we got home just "processing." And it's a lot to process. Personally, it gave me such an appreciation for the beautiful, stunning world God has created for us to live in, and the way He created each of us different and unique, with likes and dislikes, passions and desires, with style and a capacity to love. Even though it's not technically a Christian movie, it's one of the most Christian movies I've seen.

If you're not going to get holed up about the differences between book and film, I recommend you go see it. Usually I'm one of those "I liked it, but to each his own" about seeing movies - and don't really tell anyone to go see anything - but this time, I'm serious. If you're not a movie theatre person, wait till it comes out on DVD. But watch it. It'll give you a better perspective on everything and everyone you hold dear.

As one of my friends so aptly put it, "it awakens you to something more." This production truly raised the bar in terms of the ART of film. It's got it's moments, but the art and beauty of it moves you swiftly on to see beyond...

Anyway. I'll leave it there.



  1. YES. I actually had to sit in the theatre and later the bathroom for a total of 10-ish minutes just sobbing after the movie ended. But it was such a good sort of pain, a sort of why do I deserve all that I have?, appreciation for simple things like colour. I hadn't felt like that since I finished the book the first time, so many years ago. A few of the early montages seemed a bit cheesy to me (going all elitist on you, sorry) but later ones made me cry. I loved how the movie captured the sanctity of human life, and the tentative love story between Jonas and Fiona - it was so beautifully hesitant, restrained and innocent. <3 And the end scene (!!!). (Whoops now I'm gushing...)

    All in all, it was excellent. I can't wait for an excuse to see it again. <3

  2. You have single-handedly changed me from thinking "Oh great, another post-apocalyptic movie trying to make big bucks. No way am I wasting my time on that. I'm sure the book is way better." to being actually excited about seeing this. :)