What is your favorite book? For me my favorite fictional work was The Giver. Finally after years of waiting it was officially announced a couple weeks back that The Giver movie was underway. To me it was surreal knowing my favorite book was being adapted to the big screen. Most people who have read this book or other books adapted or going to be adapted to the big screen (Hunger Games, Ender’s Games, etc) are more likely to be the most critical judges to a movie. I’m no exception to that rule! However what led me to my fixation to The Giver all these years? Well let me explain…
Back in the 8th grade during a DI class session, (Direct Instruction) our teacher decided to veer away from the usual lesson plan and instead have us read the book “The Giver” by Lois Lowry. I had never heard of the book let alone the author but I figured reading a book would sure beat boring repetitive reading and writing activities. As we continued reading the book, I found myself somewhat intrigued. What did that word “release” mean? As I delved deeper into Jonas’ world I found myself enthralled in his world where there was no hunger, war, racism, or choices. I won’t give the story away for those that haven’t read it (I highly recommend checking it out) but you begin to unravel the truth with 12-year-old Jonas, as he must bear the past… a past that held the true pain and joy of life.
It was probably the best book I’ve ever been made to read in class and quickly became my favorite fiction book till this day. Even now I’ll admit it has influenced my own writing. For awhile I wondered what the book would be like if it was adapted into a movie. For several years I heard the book was being adapted to a movie, much to my delight, only to be disappointed to find on IMDB the date kept being pushed back.
But now the book is “officially” being adapted into a movie and casting is currently underway with Jeff Bridges casted as the Giver who transmits memories to Jonas. However like many I was eager to find out who would be casted to be Jonas. The actor casted to play Jonas is Brenton Thwaites, an Australian actor who is 23. There’s one big major discrepancy… the actor is almost double the age as Jonas! For those that have read the book, you know that age plays a significant role in the story up until the age of 12. For a person that looks like he’s past puberty, it makes it very difficult to past them off as a 12-year-old, which is why the people directing the movie decided to bump the main character’s age. Do you think changing the age will greatly impact the story? Your thoughts on the actor (pic below) I would like to hear from you….
Find out more about the casting and the fan reactions @ http://www.hypable.com/2013/07/02/brenton-thwaites-to-play-joans-in-the-giver/
Update: After my initial reservations about the movie I finally went to see it with my sisters. Was it 100% faithful to the book? Nope. However despite my lowered expectations, the movie actually turned out to be pretty good, much to my own surprise. Once I got over the fact that it wouldn’t be a faithful book to movie adaption, I could truly watch the movie for what it was worth without constantly comparing between the two. I could see why they aged Jonas’ character (to make it more marketable to teens), even though I would still prefer Jonas to be closer to his real age, 12. Some of the changes made to the book, didn’t adversely affect the storyline as I feared but added a new dimension on the beloved classic. I feel the movie stayed true to the spirit of the book and that most of the major plotlines were followed (thankfully). Check out my full review of The Giver here.
Spoiler Alert! For those that didn’t like the ambiguous ending of the book, you’ll be pleased with the way the ending is handled while not straying far from the vision Lowry had in mind.
Dystopian YA fiction is all the rage these days. Check out my latest post dedicated to the Hunger Games series here.