Posted by: mydarkestplaces | March 20, 2014

Nothing like a little righteous anger…

… To inspire one to get back on the blogging horse. And boy am I filled with it this morning.

I’d written about one of my transformative books on here before – The Giver – but frankly I’m too pissed to look for it on a mobile device so I’m going to assume if you’re so inspired to you’ll go back and look for it. If not, no harm no foul.

Okay. So The Giver. It’s incredible. A dystopian YA novel before dystopian YA novels were an official thing. There’s a utopian society where the community members entrust their feelings and memories to one person, the Giver. The book revolves around the coming of age of Jonas and his classmates as they graduate from the classroom to apprenticeships and on to the careers and roles they will live, breathe and die in for the next sixty years.

The Giver is a literary hipster – dystopian before it was cool to be dystopian.

So far so good, right? Nothing that wouldn’t be what I love. Again, I’ve probably read it dozens of times and I’ve gotten something different out of it every single time.

Enter Hollywood stage right. They’ve gotten their sticky fingers into it and appear to have, fairly promptly, kill some of the most salient and important aspects of the book. Killed them. Killed them dead.

If you haven’t read it, but plan on it, this may be a good time to stop reading this post. Thar be spoilers ahead.

The very first, and likely the biggest, thing that pissed me off: the movie is shot in color. Presumably, if you’re still reading, you’ve read the book so you know that one of the identifiers that pushes the Giver to select Jonas as his successor is that in a world of black, white, and gray Jonas starts seeing flashes of color. This is a huge plot device/fact that should have factored into the movie. After all, think about seeing the red coat on top of the pile in Schindler’s List. A flash of color in a sea of grayscale. Frankly, just thinking about it is getting me a little verklempt.

The are also action sequences in the trailer. Which, while the book isn’t without action in the memories the Giver gives or the world he and Jonas live in, there’s not really any reason that a laser shooting hover scooter thingymabob should feature in the movie, and especially not in the trailer. Because it’s not something that’s a priority.

The last point I have to make is petty, but I’m going to make it anyway: Taylor Swift has billing as more than just an extra in the movie. Her role may be more than flitting through a crowd, but as she doesn’t feature in the trailer – at all – my inclination is to think that she doesn’t actually play a very big active role in the movie.

I would say I’m happy to be proven wrong, because usually I am. I often give movies and books and shows the benefit of the doubt. But this is not something I’m going to give the chance to prove me wrong. I will not give Hollywood ten dollars to watch them decimate one of THE most important books in my life.


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