The Giver

Film Reviews

A film review by Ghoshen.

The Giver DVD coverI had heard of the 2014 movie ‘The Giver’ as a spiritual work so jumped at a recent chance to watch it. And it stars Meryl Streep and Jeff Bridges, so how could it be bad? Well, all too easily as it turns out…

We are presented with a small isolated future community where things that we consider negative (pain, rudeness, hunger, cold, crime, illness, etcetera) are forcibly eliminated. Oh, and somehow love is eliminated too. Everyone is kept happy with daily drug injections, life is circumscribed by numerous stultifying rules, and people who do not fit in are “liberated”. Oh, and colour is right out – the people see everything in monochrome (must be the drugs) so there can be no racism and we see it in black and white too. So the people are all, um, grey perhaps? No, everyone is, you guessed it, pure white. The result is a world of super-creepy conformity but, of course, we have a hero who feels more than the rest, skips some injections, begins to see traces of colour, and manages to break out.

It is true that the movie has a spiritual message: that we cannot escape the polarities of our world. We cannot have love without fear, joy without sorrow, pleasure without pain, freedom without crime. But this is a very primitive message and the movie slathers it really thickly.

The Giver is intended as entertainment for young adults and apparently was modestly successful and profitable, presumably just with that audience. For sannyasins and our ilk, it is an ugly, insipid and worthless distraction.

Bottom line: I hated this film and recommend giving it a wide berth.

Should you care to see a film that is somewhat similar and much better, try “Pleasantville”.

Ghoshen, Osho News

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