Alright well, I don’t entirely agree with the critics that this is a bad movie (31% on Rotten Tomatoes), but it isn’t entirely amazing either. It’s worth a watch. The purpose for this review is to give you a decent reason to see this and to show that it isn’t a horrible film as critics are saying. The way I will break this down is with my review from a filmmaker’s perspective and a review from someone else, a book reader’s perspective.
I did not read the book so the following is my review:
-Taylor Swift’s role: Forgettable and could have been replaced with any actress looking to get into the film business. Solely used for marketing and advertisement.
-Actor Performances: The only main actors that had any character development was Jeff Bridges’ and Brenton Thwaites’ roles. All the other characters were portrayed as dull and boring and any actor and or actress could have replaced their roles. I understand that they’re roles were to be emotionless, but that’s no excuse. Show class and make that character special. This is partly due to the director’s fault because any director could have directed the actors.
-Music and Soundscape: Music was a little above par. Nothing memorable, but is decent. The trailer music made it seem way more intense than the movie actually was.
-Visual Effects: The only visuals that stand out are the solo color changes in objects and changed color tones that happen throughout the film and its not much. This film doesn’t have very many visual effects that take this film to a new level in terms of a science fictiony film.
-Art Direction: I’m in love with the art direction. The styles of the architecture, sets, set design, and props were very interesting to see.
-Script: There really wasn’t much of a conflict and the ending wasn’t as satisfying as it could have been. There isn’t anything new that hasn’t been done in other films. The script is simple. However it wasn’t as bad as it could have been.
-Humor: There was no humor. This was a very serious film. Humor could have helped.
-Awesomeness Factor: There wasn’t much of an awesome factor within this film beyond the found footage borrowed from Getty Images, NBC and CNN.
-Ethics: This film shows elephants being shot and no where in the credits did it say that Elephants were not harmed. I’m not happy with this and will explore this further.
-Impressions I got when I walked away from the movie: It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t entirely amazing.
-Cinematography and Arrangement of clips on screen: Cinematography was on par or just a little above par than some of the films released this summer. The found footage added an interesting element on screen that you don’t see in any other film besides Lucy this summer.
-Last second thought: The jittery frame rates on some scenes don’t work as well as the film creators might have hoped.
Review from a person that read the book (SPOILERS): The book version will always be a classic and have more of a preference for me than the movie, but I believe that the movie was satisfactory. The storyline went along with the original source material and had the important information and events that were portrayed in the book. Although there were some details that were not included in the movie that would have made it easier for the viewer to understand more in depth of the message of The Giver, it still showcased the delivery of individuality and the importance of love and relationships. The visual factor of this film is what I enjoyed most. As Jonas begins his training and continues to receive the memories, the color fades from black and white, to sepia, and finally to color. I think that the transition from black and white to color corresponded to the gradual knowledge that Jonas was receiving and the truth he slowly began to accept. Lastly what I liked about this movie is the chemistry between the characters of Jonas and Fiona. In the book, the relationship between Jonas and Fiona doesn’t seem to make a lasting impression. In contrast, I believe that the movie adds more to the effect of emotions and the realization that the love that the characters have for each other help push the story towards its main message. All in all this move was to my liking, and although there could have been more of a character development with many of the people in the film and there lacked a sense of conflict within the plot, it was entertaining and fun. Last second thoughts, Taylor Swift was not needed.