One might say that a trend in today’s movie picks revolve around teenagers and a dystopian empire. And they are all from books. It is not too say that this article is meant to bash the books; nor the movies for that matter. Anyone can plainly see that they have all been embraced by the public; Hunger Games and Divergent, and even The Maze Runner, being the most recent. So what’s next? Walden Media has decided to adapt Lowis Lowry’s The Giver to film.
Many of the fans of the novel might say “finally” to this new movie. Anticipation grows as more announcements and news reaches the public ear. Will the cast work? How close will the adaptation get to the book? What changes have to be made for the cinematography; the usual questions that any book fan may ask. But this time, there may be one more question to ask. Is this the right time for such a book to become a film?
As a part of the Banned Books list, The Giver was not considered a book for children. Unlike the Hunger Games or The Maze Runner, The Giver is impregnated with a wider range of skewed morals such as violence, infanticide, euthanasia, sexual awakening and taking the memories of humankind. It’s not just suppressing society, it is suppressing humanity. The Giver gives us a glimpse of a reality that would take away the essence of what a person really was. “Sameness” would suffocate the life out of mankind, not just giving the illusion of happiness, but erasing happiness all together. The twisted principles so readily accepted in Lowry’s world hand audiences a deeper message with a deeper fear; what is humanity actually capable of?
So the question is not ‘should this movie be made?’ Of course it should. Any novel written with the depth and passion that Lowry put in should be given a chance to have another dimension of life (when done correctly.) The question should be – ‘if this movie is released now, will it just be lost in the mix?’ Will this movie lose its depth in the category of ‘teenage dystopian future’? Or will it not?