Then BAM. Last year I found out that The Giver really was becoming a movie and I just about pooped my pants. I'm trying to remember when I saw the first Giver trailer. I was definitely at the premier for another movie - possibly Hunger Games? Or maybe it wasn't until TFIOS, I don't remember, but anyway - I was so excited because it was the freaking Giver.... yet I felt a twinge of wariness in the pit of my stomach. It annoyed me a bit, too, because I was busy trying to love the shit out of that trailer but I could tell that something was off - it was too different from what I'd pictured.
Let me clear the air first - I am incredibly generous when it comes to reviewing book-to-movie adaptations. I am used to changes, I am fine with cutting out unimportant things or things having to be moved around for the transition to the big screen. I take every adaptation with a grain of salt and with the understanding that things aren't going to look and play out the exact way they did in my head. Need proof? Dude, I liked Vampire Academy. Enough said.
Maybe I'm being irrational and holding on to my childhood/teenage ideals as far as what The Giver movie should undoubtedly be rather than accepting what it is, and maybe I am this close to throwing a massive book-related tantrum, but it's The Giver. THE GIVER!! You know as well as I do that this movie is going to blow and HARD. Here's why:
1. Too modern: I understand and appreciate that the adaptation needs to speak to the now and speak to its target audience, rather than to the young adults (by that I mean actual young adults such as my self, in their 20s) and middle aged readers who read this back when the book was written, but it's not even staying remotely true to the book! With hovercrafts and sleek buildings, unnecessary techologies, injections (rather than pills) - it's all just too modern. Have we forsaken the simplicity and bleakness and "innocence" that is The Giver? I guess the writers/directors figured that since they made part of the movie in black and white, that was all they needed to capture the concept of Sameness but no. It's just all wrong.
|Why are they on a poster together?! Fiona doesn't|
even frickin' matter!!!!!!!!
3. A Rebellion!?: The few scenes I've had the opportunity to watch make Jonas seem... rebellious. There's Jonas telling Fiona to skip her morning injections (because he's secretly been doing the same, but WTF because in the book Jonas is told to skip his pills), and Streep declares that Jonas is dangerous, when again WTF because no. He isn't looking to incite rebellion! He just wants to make things right, and he doesn't even come to that conclusion until right before the end!
4. Seems like a sequel to Divergent: It seems as if every YA dystopian adaptation starts with a reference to "Before" but Jonas doesn't even learn about Before until mid-book and no one, I repeat, no one understands the concept of Before or even cares. It's not part of the book until Jonas learns about it from the Giver which he then passes on to no one but an infant, and to add it into the movie as though it is the motto of the community, blah blah blah a Time of Great Suffering and there was a Solution, communities and no choices, blah-blah-blahdy-blah, is not only blasphemous, but sounds exactly like the opening lines to Divergent and that little video they play at the reaping in Hunger Games. Not to mention when Meryl Streep says something like "When people have the freedom to choose, they choose wrong." Much like the concept of the test in Divergent that divides people into their factions. Add in all the rebellion and the romance and it just seems like The Giver is trying to cash in on the success of Divergent and other YA dystopians that are so popular right now. That'd be wonderful except for the fact that they are cashing in on something that doesnt exist in the book! At least Divergent and The Hunger Games stayed true to their cores and what the books are actually about.
Let me say again before I continue, in case you think I'm being nitpicky and irrational and freaking out because "movies are not like books" - I am okay with changes in book-to-movie adaptations that make it easier for books to be transitioned to the big screen. I am not okay with movies that change the fundamental ideas of a book to make more money off of it.
5. It's (practically) all made up: I was watching PLL last night and there was a "special sneak peek" or whatever it's called of The Giver movie showing the scene where Jonas tries to convince Fiona not to take her injections. I mentioned this above but my outrage now is over the fact that the scene they showed, along with some of the things Jonas mentions (like sneakily skipping his injections) don't happen in the book at all. Actually, that conversation never even remotely happens! How about Jonas and Fiona kissing? I mentioned that before too and it's not even a little true. It's made up. Oh, how about when they show Jonas being captured - scooped up by a hovercraft/plane thingy (just like in Catching Fire!), because um WHAT? Ohhh and how about when the elders (Meryl Streep, etc.) freaking have the nerve to question the Giver himself and tell him he "should have known better"? Once again, we're losing the entire point of the book, we're losing the concept of Sameness and how clueless the community, including its Elders, really are. No one is looking to start a revolution here! NONE OF THIS HAPPENS! IT'S ALL MADE UP!!
6. My Childhood will be Ruined: Not only do I hate a bad adaptation (ahem Beautiful Creatures, I'm lookin' at you) which is bad enough all on its own, but I grew up on this book. 7th grade English class was never the same after I read this book. This was the one and only book I was ever assigned in middle and high school that I went out and bought myself (I liked my elementary school reads), went back and re-read on my own. This was the first book I ever really loved, and now it's being butchered in the public eye and made out to be just like everything else when it is not. What upsets me more is that the people who tend to get into certain books or become part of fandoms because of the movie releases (bandwagoners, yes, but I can't be mad due to the fact that they are actually reading or enjoying the stories I've loved for so long) will see this movie, will think "oh no, not another Divergent/Hunger Games/YA dystopian book-to-movie" and will be missing out on one of the best books I've ever been blessed enough to read. DAMN YOU HOLLYWOOD!
Why don't you see for yourselves:
I think my tantrum and the trailer were enough to show you what I mean, yes? Basically, if you want to like this movie, don't read the book. But if you want something better than what's already out there, better than just another money-making copy of all the popular YA books/movies, read The Giver. If you don't, you'll be missing out, I can promise you that. And, no, I'm not going to say "then don't see the movie". Obviously I can't tell the future. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe this will be the biggest, baddest adaptation to ever grace the screen. Unfortunately, evidence points to the opposite, but in either event, I am going to see The Giver this Friday when it comes out, (1) because I am a HUGE fan of the book/series and Lois Lowry and loyalty dictates that I see this movie no matter what, (2) my job as a blogger means I must enjoy the good, suffer the bad and grit my teeth and bear it through the ugly for you, my loyal readers, who obviously depend on me to inform you about this adaptation and whether this movie is worth $10+ bucks and almost 2 hours of your time.
Well what do you think about the trailers? Please don't tell me you think it's going to be awesome? Kidding. Actually, if you think that, I'd love to hear why. I want to like the movie, so maybe there's something you can say to change my perspective a little? Or you can just rant with me about this nonsense and we can cry together when our favorite childhood book is ripped to pieces.