The Giver

This post will be in response to the movie, in case you might be wondering. Before I dive into, I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, and that I haven’t read the book. Because of that, I cannot make any statements regarding the accuracy of the movie to the book, but I will be solely talking about the movie. It has made me want to go read the book now. I may address some plot points and possibly spoilers, so let this be your spoiler alert, if you haven’t read the book or seen the movie already. Unlike my Divergent Analysis, I won’t be skimming through plot and how well it was written and all of that jazz. I won’t be talking about quality of acting (though I found it to be spectacular), or any of the technical aspects of it. I’ll be talking about the actual content of the movie. The overarching theme of my feelings toward this movie are just kind of amazed, and astoundingly grateful to God for EVERYTHING in the world, but I’ll go more in depth.

So the first thing I want to address is that the movie was at least partially in black and white, for good reason. It may sound technical, but it connects with the content. The characters in the movie, save the Giver and Receiver, cannot see color, so from the beginning it starts in black and white to reflect how the characters see the world around them. The first time Jonas sees color, he is utterly amazed and fascinated with it. The color in the movie ranges from black and white to full color, sometimes resting in a muted zone of color, which is kinda cool. When Jonas receives his memories from the Giver, it show images, some of the first of which are related to color. One of my favorite moments in that was when Jonas gets the memory of being on a boat at see during sunset. I myself was hugely conflicted because the sunset was absolutely stunning, just showing the majesty of God, but at the same time, he was on a small boat in the middle of the ocean. It added to the beauty, but I am terrified of the open ocean. Like I have had to ask myself whether I would go on a cruise or not, for fear of the open ocean. Sometimes yes and sometimes no. That’s beside the point though. Just seeing how worked up Jonas gets over color makes me realize how under rated color is. We all take it for granted. I still am not as passionate for color as Jonas, but just the thought of losing all the color would be awful. I decided that if I had the chance to lose color from my life temporarily, I would absolutely take the chance, just so I could show myself how blessed I am to live in a world full of color and beauty from that.

Another thing the people in that world have to live without is music. I think this is kind of self explanatory, but music is beautiful, and something everyone loves, just not the same kinds. But think for a moment what a world would sound like with no wild animals, no wind through the leaves, no MUSIC of any kind. The only things we would hear, at least as this movie suggests, is each others voices, emotionless by the way, but I’ll touch on that soon, alarms of all kinds to signal different things, and whatever menial sounds you can think of. Bicycle wheels, footsteps, etc. The point is though, music is so unique and it is such a blessing to have. I write this listening to my own music and while it changes between upbeat and wild-ish music to slower and serene songs, it is all still beautiful. Maybe you all wouldn’t agree with my music choices, but to my ears, I am satisfied and I get joy out of it. It’s enjoying one of God’s gifts, and to take it away would just be awful, no matter who you are.

This one is a little interesting, since they might seem contradictory, but the level of order in the movie is far too much. Their needs to be a little more chaos. We live in an ordered world, but also in a world of free choice, while they live in a world of order without free choice. I reject that the world is a product of chaos. I personally look at the world and see astounding order, everything working just right. By that I don’t mean that there are no issues, or no cars breaking down, but just the fact that life can exist kind of shows that order is there. Anyway, free choice is a huge deal that most people, particularly in America and other first world nations probably take for granted. I understand personally that there are time where free will is restricted, so don’t give me that excuse. We have laws to prevent complete free will. But ultimately, we still have that free choice. In places like the modern day Middle-East or maybe Soviet Russia from a couple decades ago, the free will wasn’t there. They were forced to live their lives one way and there was no tolerance for ANY deviation. Those that did were killed or tortured or any number of bad things. It’s an easy thing to take for granted. I get to choose what I eat for breakfast, where I go to school, what classes I take, where I’ll go to college, what after school activities I partake in, etc. Granted, most of those are limited by something. I am limited in my breakfast choices by time and money and availability, but the choice is still there. I have a choice to whether I follow God or not, but I choose to, and that is an awesome choice to have. Nobody likes to be forced to do something they don’t want to do. Sometimes its necessary for the greater good, but, like I said earlier, the choice is still there for us. For most of the people in Jonas’s society, they are told what they can say and what cannot be said. They have daily schedules that are punishable if broken. They don’t get to choose what career path they enter. It’s something that I have a little more respect for now.

Emotions are also completely erased from the society. They are allowed to have “feelings” but not emotions. Jonas in the movie asked what the difference is, and it is a fine line, but basically emotions are more powerful. We don’t have the verb “emote” so we say we feel things to express our emotions, which is why I think they are so closely linked. But ultimately, emotions come from the heart, and feelings come more from the mind. I don’t want to hear anything about how all the heart does is pump blood, because I think everyone knows what I mean when I say it comes from the heart, even though TECHNICALLY it doesn’t. It’s metaphorical people. Anyway, these people do not “emote” regret, sadness, anger, fear, love, etc. Basically they have understanding and confusion, or uncertainty. There is a time for “feelings” at the dinner table there, and they talk about being nervous about ceremonies and stuff, but you can categorize all the “robotic” characters to have either understanding or confusion as their two emotions. Their reasoning for it is that they think emotions lead to passion which leads to bad things. Murder and war and pain are all products of passion, so getting rid of them solves the problem, and makes them easy to control. If you can’t be angry at a decision or any of that, how can you fight it? Well you don’t. Jonas feels love for the very first time, and those are probably the best parts of the movie, are when he is feeling or expressing love, because they made me feel love, or emote love. So much of this movie was about wanting the love and the joy, and that’s all people really want I think. Most people only want joy and love. That’s all I really want. I was swept away with Jonas in his love. The memories he receives of the world just made me LOVE the world! I fully realize that the world is broken, and I also consider inherently, or without being changed, evil. But I also think that, as God’s creation, are capable of some goodness and beauty. Even seeing the Muslims praying made me feel love. I loved the uniqueness and creativity and beauty that God put in the world. It is a BEAUTIFUL thing to watch people be people sometimes. Just watch it, and you’ll understand. The man who blocked the tanks in I think it was China was beautiful. The courage and love and laughter just made me feel love for the world, which is beautiful. God calls me to love him and to love my neighbors. I love all my neighbors regardless of who they are, and I will always mess up, so don’t think I’ll be running through the hallways all the time throwing roses and all of that stuff. But I hope that whenever someone talks to me, they don’t walk away feeling worse off than when they came to me. I make that my life goal, and while I’ll stumble, I will strive to attain that. I just love seeing the world. It’s magnificent and beautiful. My words here cannot convey the proper glory that watching those things really transmits. I encourage everyone who reads this to look for what I’ve seen, whether it be from The Giver or from YouTube or other movies, or even going out into the world and actually seeing it. It’s a miraculous thing. It’s one reason I believe in God. SO. MUCH. BEAUTY.

Unfortunately with the good emotions also comes the bad ones, and it’s one reason a lot of people reject God. Some people just seem to think that all the bad things should be fixed by God. If God were really perfect, why wouldn’t he make everything perfect? He did intend for us all to be perfect, but he gave us free will, and being human we chose not to accept that gift. This awful world we live in is a product of man, not of God. WE tainted it, not God. But why does God allow it, you ask? Well let me ask you something. If your parents were to give you all the money in the world, and everything you needed to survive, basically all the world had to offer, would you need your parents? No, you wouldn’t, and odds are you wouldn’t talk to them like you should. That’s essentially why God has bad things in the world. They develop your character and they make you reliant on God. If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it. We are in need of fixing, so if we don’t have anything to fix us, we stay broken. That’s how change is made. Jonas in the movie was scared of the war and death and evil that came with it, but ultimately he saw that there was evil in his own society, but it wasn’t being recognized as evil, it was just their way of life. He knew that in order to have the beauty and the goodness, there had to be the evil to go along with it. That’s just the way our world functions.

There is so much in this movie that just spoke to me and made me feel, in such a short amount of time that I think I will buy it and watch it repeatedly. It’s short enough and so well done that I will watch it a lot. Seriously, go watch it now. Right now. I feel like there was something else I wanted to say about it, but I can’t think of it. I might come back and edit it if I remember what it is and to come back, but who knows. I think I’ve sufficiently expressed my deep love of the movie. Thank you everyone for reading.

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