The Giver is a beloved young adult novel by Lois Lowry that has enchanted and enthralled generations. It took a long time and a whole lot of effort to make it to the big screen, but it finally arrived as a Phillip Noyce (Salt) directed flick with none other than Oscar winners Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep headlining.
Now, The Giver has arrived on DVD, Blu-Ray and digital download and the story of a world where conformity is key can enrapture a whole new audience.
As teased in The Giver trailer, Brenton Thwaites plays the son of Alexander Skarsgard and Katie Holmes. They live in a world where a great divide almost ended the human race, but thanks to the central government and their ability to remove emotion from humans, a society has emerged and fruitfully moved into the future.
But, two things happen. Thwaites’ fate is sealed when he learns that his life role in society is to become the next Giver. He will train with Bridges' Giver and learn the secrets to our past that only stay with him. Someone has to recall our history, but it is deemed something that is not necessary to be known by the society as a whole. When Thwaites sees a world that doesn’t exist anymore, he stops taking his daily shot that suppresses emotional responses and sees things in a whole new light.
And that is an enormous threat to the status quo, led by Streep’s ruler.
Our theatrical The Giver review found the film a bit disappointing and lacking in potential power that was present in Lowry’s book -- although on home video it is a nice format to finally see the author’s vision come to life cinematically. It has long been a passion project for Bridges and that comes through immensely with The Giver bonus features.
Jeff Bridges Presents The Original Script Reading Featuring Lloyd Bridges is a fascinating look at just how the younger Bridges was so taken with the novel and even imagined the film as a vehicle for his late father. Jeff would eventually play the role in the version we got, but as you see in this featurette, the son wanted his father to play the role many years ago.
As a fan of Noyce’s work, we also treasured the documentary short Making The Giver: From Page to Screen. Watching the brilliant director do his thing and take such care in bringing to life a novel that is so beloved is truly special. This featurette is also another angle on the passion for the book that Bridges had! It’s hard not to notice the superstar’s adoration of all things The Giver.
For fans of the band One Republic, you’ll want to check out the look at making the Ordinary Human song from the soundtrack.
But the best of the bonus feature bunch has to be Author Lois Lowry on The Giver. Given that it is her world, and also that she has the perspective of having decades of living with these characters in her mind, Lowry’s take on the world of The Giver is utterly priceless.