#63 THE GIVER
Starring: Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep, Brenton Thwaites, Alexander Skarsgård, Odeya Rush, Katie Holmes and Taylor Swift. Directed by Philip Noyce.
97 minutes long.
Another year, another post-apocalyptic, homogonised civilisation in search of a young, heroic, rebel/outsider/different teenager eager to bring the whole damn edifice come crashing down around the stuffy oldies shoulders. Based on yet another fantastically popular series of young teen fiction books. This time, the book seems rather well lauded so perhaps it won't be as desperately dull as last years, Dullvirgence or any of the other, seemingly, thousands of similar books, all trying to catch the same Hunger Games spark of lighting and reap the rewards.
In the year 2048, years after a global war, a society has grown on a cloud obscured plateau, a society that has diverged itself of all emotion, desire or any of those unnecessary concepts of free-will and ambition thanks to a strict set of social laws and a daily dose of drugs to dull the pain, laws that include, no lying, no touching, no fun and no rocking the boat. As a result this colour devoid world is serene, safe and a horrible sham just crying out to be rescued from its social blindness. Luckily every generation its teenagers are assigned jobs as exciting as bottle washer, gardener, bin man and baby murderer and this time the once in a life-time role of The Receiver is up for grabs. Step forward, Brenton Thwaites's Jonah who has been chosen to be the Receiver, the sole inhabitant who must store all memories of mankind from before the war, including all concepts of love, hate, war, death, murder, genocide, lust etc etc just in case it's important or something later on. Obvs it's a great idea to give this responsibility to a 15-year old and not to bother with any form of prior training. Step up the current Receiver who calls himself The Giver to avoid confusion to transfer his and the entire society's memories and herald the demise of their entire way of life when Jonah realises something is rotten in the state of Denmark.
After that, it's the usual chase and hero run but this time with a boy doing the hero stuff and a baby in tow.
Trouble is, there's lots of stuff that doesn't make sense in this world, serious, a 15 year old child is going to be thrilled to discover the rest of his or her life is going to be spent cleaning up dinner tables, or driving a garbage truck or murdering babies and old people? A world where concepts of violence and killing are done away with, but there exists men who are happy to hunt down and kill other people when asked to by their boss, Meryl Streep?
Luckily the movie's not too long, there's very little kissing and the relationship between Jonah and Jeff Bridges's Giver is involving and interesting, it's just a shame the ending makes a mockery of what's gone on before and leaves you with a great big 'what the?'.