As the movie came to a close I looked over to see tears in my wife’s eyes. Now, to say that a lady cried at a movie is one thing, but to say that a young, business owning, assertive, strong woman has tears is another. And that is what I’m saying.
The movie was that good, and I’m sure the book is better.
The Giver, starring Meryl Streep, Katie Holmes, and Jeff Bridges, is a movie adaptation of the book by Lois Lowry. Though I haven’t read the book, I plan to in time. However, the movie itself (which books always outdo movie adaptations) was phenomenal. I’m sure that after reading the book, I will place it in the same area of my bookshelf that holds 1984, Atlas Shrugged, Brave New World and Animal Farm.
In this movie, what I’m going to concentrate on, we have a society in which things are utopian: there is no pain, no war, no hate, no differences in people – everything is in perfect harmony.
At the end of childhood, each teenager is taken from their assigned homes and given work assignments… from the lowest to the highest of jobs, the “Chief Elder” (Streep) assigns the future of each young adult. That’s right, this is when you start to see that utopia has it’s flaws… choice is no longer existent, even when choosing one’s own career path. In the words of the “Chief Elder”, “When people have the freedom to choose, they choose wrong.”
Jonah, the main character, is assigned as the new Receiver. He is teamed up with the current Receiver, Jeff Bridges. The Receiver is the one individual in this utopian community that has the knowledge of past events – the history of man.
As the plot unfolds, Jonah realizes the dystopia in what is supposed to be the utopian society he has always known. As he learns more and more from Bridges, he finds that the community he lives in has taken away the meaning of life – personalities, feelings, emotions, family.
I won’t ruin the movie for those who wish to see it, so I’ll stop with the review and leave you biting your nails.
As I watched this movie I thought much about our society – the current American way of life. I thought about how far away we have gotten from the America we once knew. It is my firm belief that the utopia presented in The Giver is one that many people seek to embrace in our world, and trying to reach that distant place is why we are where we are.
It is fearful to me that we will continue going down this path, and I’ll attempt to explain why I fear the loss of many of the things that have made our world great. I’ll give a second shake at poetry for my blog. I hope it is enjoyed.
In a world where we have climate control,
We risk losing snowflakes and Autumn leaves.
In a world where there is no feeling of defeat,
We can’t embrace the value of victory.
In a world where there is no pain,
We lose the excitement of joy.
In a place where differences are taken away,
We lose the art of celebrating diversity.
In a land in which we lose our ethnicity,
We have the inability to celebrate multi-culturalism.
In a world erased of hate,
We find the intensity of love is lost.
In a land where we can find utopia,
We really find we have lost individuality.
May we not find utopia,
For in doing so we will lose ourselves.