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The Giver Book VS Movie Review

By Erika San Diego. (Year 7)

The Giver by Lois Lowry was a popular book, and still is today. Even though it was published in 1993, given its widespread admiration, a movie based on the book was made around 20 years later! Both the book and movie were well liked. The book was given a Newbery medal a year after it was published and has sold over 12 million copies since being released. The movie was a massive box office grossing $66,980,456 in revenue worldwide!

The movie took a long time to produce and the reason wasbecause the book was mainly compiled of Jonas’ thoughts, and the producers found it hard to portray that in the movie. The movie cast includes; Jeff Bridges as The Giver, Brenton Thwaites as Jonas, Meryl Streep as Chief Elder, Alexander Skarsgård as Jonas’ father, Katie Holmes as Jonas’ mother, Odeya Rush as Fiona, Cameron Monaghan as Asher, Taylor Swift as Rosemary and Emma Tremblay as Lilly acting main and lead roles. All actors did a wonderful job in connecting with each of their roles, and the movie ended up being ranked #127 on August 29th, 2014, 14 days after the movie was released. For any one who has watched the movie would agree that the movie was amazing, although, like all movies adapted from books, the producers changed things along the way.

For example, little details such Jonas was 12 years old in the novel but is 16 in the movie, or that he and Gabe are meant to share the same blue eyes, that are rare in the community, but instead share a birthmark. There are many such differences between the novel and the movie however that is expected when you attempt to turn the dream of converting a book to a movie into reality. I would like to share more, but I don’t want to spoil either the book or the movie for you.

A few small pieces of information I can share about the book, are that in this book Jonas’ community is not like the real world. There isno war, hunger, or pain. Jonas’ has, as Lois Lowry says in his novel “the capacity to see beyond”. He starts to see the flaws in a perfect world and acts on it, in both the book and the movie - that aspect does not change. The character’s personalities in the movie however do change, Asher becomes more serious, the Giver is friendlier in the book, scenes were added for Taylor Swift and Meryl Streep, playing Rosemary and the Chief Elder for extra screen time, and romance between Fiona and Jonas blossoms - a romance that was never shown in the book. I overall enjoyed the book more, as I imagined things such as the community, Jonas, Asher and Giver’s home differently.

The movie however, did an amazing job in bringing Lois Lowry’s book to life through the black and white community, the Elders, and all their casting decisions albeit that there were difficulties along the way. I recommend both the book, and movie, to all readers looking for a fresh, vibrant and breathtaking adventure/journey to add to their imagination and lives.


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