“The Giver” is a solid film with a powerful story about what we are willing to sacrifice for security. Although the trailers make it appear that the film departs drastically from the source material, fans of the book should be relieved that aside from aging the characters from 12 to 16, there are few substantial changes, most of which serve to add a little more action in the final act.
That being said, “The Giver” lacks the action we’ve come to expect from these kinds of movies, and it instead asks the audience to think about and experience its story, and for that we don’t need explosions or fights or extended chase sequences.
Even more so, “The Giver” doesn’t have the feel of a young adult novel adaptation. It feels almost as if it’s a low budget, high-brow drama which just happens to be based on a children’s book, which I’m sure is partly due to the black-and-white filming.
“The Giver” doesn’t have explosions or fancy action sequences, but it does give a solid film with wonderful visuals, solid acting and an award-winning story that is still as relevant today as it was in 1993.
The film is rated PG-13 for a mature thematic image and some sci-fi action/violence.
(This is a shortened version of the full review available in our printed or e-edition papers.)