This week the first trailer for The Giver was released. The movie is set to come out this August, and it stars people like Meryl Streep, Jeff Bridges, and Taylor Swift.
I first read The Giver early on in my school career and then again for my Children’s Literature class in college. It seems like people have one of two opinions on The Giver – either they hate it or they love it – there doesn’t seem to be much in between. Although we did talk about some of the issues with the book during Children’s Lit (I think the numbers in the community didn’t quite add up or something like that), I still really enjoyed the book both times I read it.
I find it interesting that a movie for The Giver is coming out now. The Giver was written as a dystopian YA novel long before dystopian YA novels were cool. Of course there were other dystopian books out there like 1984 and Brave New World, which I still want to read, but The Hunger Games was far from being a thing in the ’90’s when Lois Lowery wrote The Giver.
I was interested to see how they showed Jonas’s world in the trailer. It is a futuristic society, but I always pictured it as being more idyllic as opposed to futuristic. Maybe that’s because I was just learning what dystopian and utopian were at the time. In my mind Jonas’s house, family, and world was very traditional. They had a round, wooden table where they ate (I don’t know if that was in the book or just in my mind), and I pictured a lot of grass everywhere – maybe because of the final scene in the book, if I am remembering that correctly.
SPOILERS in the next paragraph:
It looks like the movie is in color when in fact a lot of the book was in black and white, although they didn’t really emphasize that too much, if I remember correctly, until the end. But I feel like they could do kind of drab colors vs. vivid colors or something like that to show a contrast there. I’m not sure how that will play out, but I am kind of interested to see what they will do.
Also in the book Jonas and all his friends are twelve, while actors such as Brenton Thwaites and Taylor Swift are in their twenties. This is also understandable when compared to The Hunger Games or Divergent movies, and I don’t think that in itself would stop me from seeing the movie. I might just have a book Giver and movie Giver distinction in my head.
So it looks like my image of The Giver world and the movie do not line up, but that is understandable. I wonder if my image of it would have changed had I read something like The Hunger Games, Matched, or Divergent before reading The Giver.
I also think it is interesting that The Giver movie is coming out now. If I remember correctly, it is a pretty visual book, which would lend itself to a movie. I always saw it as the precursor to the dystopian trend in young adult books, so in a way it makes sense to come out now. But it also seems like the dystopian trend is slowing down a bit in the book world, or at least that’s how I feel.
Of course, the movie industry and the book industry are two different things, but they connected with things like this. I just thought the timing was interesting, but I also don’t necessarily think that will harm the movie too much in itself. All in all, I’m interested to see how the movie does, and I guess I’m going to be rereading The Giver sometime before August.
Here is the youtube link to the trailer.
Also, I am going to see the Divergent movie tonight, and I am pretty excited.