Plot: 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.
The one positive thing that can be taken from The Giver is that Taylor Swift doesn’t arse up her appearance. As a pop star, acting can be a risky proposition. For every The Bodyguard, there is a Crossroads. For every Mad Max Beyond the Thunderdome, there’s a Gary Barlow appearing in Heartbeat. It’s not going to be winning her any awards, but it was perfectly serviceable. Nice one Taylor.
The problem with The Giver is that the story has been done before and done better. The idea of a colourless world of conformity is reminiscent of Pleasantville, and the oppressive governing state is similar to The Capitol in The Hunger Games. We have the latter to thank for The Giver being made into a film in the first place. The number of Young Adult book adaptations has surged since the first film, with very few hitting it out the park anywhere near as far as Katniss and chums (Hi The Maze Runner, The Mortal Instruments, Ender’s Game, Beautiful Creatures…)
When people have the freedom to choose, they choose wrong. Every single time.
– Chief Elder
Meryl’s all-seeing, all-powerful character feels phoned in, mainly appearing as holograms and transmissions. You know when a featured artist can’t even be bothered to turn up to appear in a music video and is green screened in? That. I don’t blame her, even in the ‘tensest’ of moments, this film is a bore. Apparently Jeff Bridges spent two decades fighting for this film to be made. I wouldn’t have bothered mate. The credits rolled. I sighed. I added The Giver to the list of Meryl films I never need to see again.