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Would You Give Up Love to Stop War? Experience "The Giver"
A Slate critic has analogized the tormented genes of adolescence and remote authoritarian authorities of high school with the cinematic young adult trials and tribulations of bleak societies that emerged following Apocalyptic destruction.
Name the flick in this genre and they all likely mix adolescents finding places with their peers, exploring the mysteries of sexuality, separating from their family of origin, and determining future career choices.
"The Giver" asks a formidable question --- would you give up laughing, excitement, and love for the abolition of war?
Founders of this dystopia society has manipulated brain chemicals by a daily injection which banishes intense, surging emotions. No one lies. Everyone follows rules. Few questions are asked. Everyone dresses similarly. It's a cross between Orwell's "1984" or Huxley's "Brave New World" and intercom commands and belles ringing to move on to the next class or activity under penalty of tardiness.
Distilled, hyper-controlled, feeling drained existence still has elders anxious that past horror could return. Thus, they desire that an un-censored history be passed to a "giver" whose knowledge serves as a check and balance for making wise decisions. Obviously, the aging "giver" must pass on his knowledge, which creates quagmire and tension. Revealing the logic that led to the consequences of repealing emotions to another, envelopes the student with such enthusiasm that he must share.
Patterned daily lives are depicted in black and white, sparkles of feelings generate a hue, such as when passing through an inner city water fall has become a surveillance free sanctuary. The Memory giver infuses painful past history into the designated mentor Jonas who struggles like Eve and the serpents apple with consequences of blooming knowledge.
Boasting a superlative cast Meryl Streep plays the often transparent Chief Elder who pleasantly gathers the followers and a bearded Jeff Bridges assumes the title role as a conveyor of memories whose fiooding infusions compel the young receiver (Brenton Thwaites) to share memories of color, of sledding, of painful killing fields and slowly a return of "love" to the vocabulary.
Slipping nuggets of feeling into their heads tempts individuals to "think" during the rituals of repeated obedience where they ask about the elderly sent to "elsewhere," the impoliteness of a not politically correct inquiry and the meanings behind soothing euphensiums.
"The Giver" swells with philosophical implications, which remain solid despite certain obvious story telling personalities.