If you went to Middle School during the 1990s, then there’s a pretty good chance you’re already familiar with the travails of Lois Lowry’s science fiction novel The Giver; first published in 1993, it spread like wildfire throughout junior high schools across the US, introducing countless emerging adults to the sort of dystopian themes recounted in literature ranging from George Orwell’s 1984 to Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. Fast forward to today, and the influence of Lowry’s work is apparent in the burgeoning YA niche, from page to screen.
So it only makes logical sense that as franchises like Divergent and The Hunger Games (and, sooner than later, The Maze Runner) take the multiplex by storm, so too should The Giver be brought to cinematic life. And so we have an adaptation of the book making its way to theaters this summer, courtesy of The Weinstein Company and Australian filmmaker Phillip Noyce. Two trailers have been released to date for the film’s promotional campaign; now, a third trailer, seen above, has made its way online, vastly expanding on the footage seen of the picture thus far.
For those who missed out on The Giver, the story takes place in a future version of our own society, where all of humanity’s ills and joys have been snuffed out by a process called “Sameness”. It’s literally a world of black and white, at least until our protagonist, Jonas (Brenton Thwaites) is chosen as the successor to the Receiver of Memory, the titular Giver (Jeff Bridges); it’s the Receiver’s job to store all knowledge of human history before “Sameness”, and to pass down that knowledge to his replacement.
But when the Giver bestows his wisdom upon Jonas, the young man must decide whether to adhere to the mores of “Sameness” or deviate and flee, to seek out a life of choice and danger. The trailer gives us glimpses of both in near-equal measure, though it puts more emphasis on the latter quality; that’s understandable, as The Giver has to live up to the action-oriented bent of its blockbusting progeny (not just Divergent and The Hunger Games, but even films like 2002’s Equilibrium).
How closely will any of this mesh with Lowry’s original work? Hard to say; stylistically, Noyce’s film looks awful similar to its competition, though the color transitions offer a flourish that’s unique to the genre. If anything, it’ll be the cast that helps lift The Giver up and differentiate it from its peers – particularly Bridges and Meryl Streep, who give the movie some veteran thespian firepower to support Thwaites (who is all over the place in 2014 between this, Oculus, The Signal, and Maleficent) in his role as leading man.
We’ll see if The Giver can take the YA crown back from the films that have used it as a blueprint, this August.
The Giver hits theaters on August 15th, 2014.
Source: Yahoo! Movies