Fans of "The Hunger Games" have a bit of a wait until the next film adaption to the popular book series, "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1", comes out in November. However, "The Giver," which opens in theaters Aug. 15, might be a way for Hunger Games' fans to distract themselves, and even find a new book series to love, as they wait for "Mockingjay."
"The Giver" is based on the 1993 novel by Lois Lowry and tells the story of Jonas, a young boy growing up in a seemingly utopian society. Later, after he is given an assignment to become the next "Giver," or keeper of his community's memories, he begins to realize that there is much more to life, love and his community than he was previously led to believe. Read on for five reasons why "Hunger Games" fans will enjoy "The Giver."
Strong lead characters
One reason that "Hunger Games" fans should see "The Giver" is because both feature a strong lead protagonist. Like Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence), Jonas (Brenton Thwaites) stands up against the unjust society he grew up in while at the same time tries to protect those around him.
Deliciously evil villains
If you liked President Snow, played by Donald Sutherland in "The Hunger Games," you'll love the Chief Elder as played by Meryl Steep. The role was expanded greatly for the film version, which will no doubt allow Streep to show off her incredible acting skills. With Streep in an expanded role as the villain, it's bound to be good.
Taylor Swift is in it
We know what you're thinking, what does Taylor Swift have to do with anything? Well, if you enjoyed her songs from the first "Hunger Games" film—"Safe and Sound" featuring The Civil Wars and "Eyes Open"—then you'll like the chance to get to see her play piano (and act) on screen in "The Giver." Swift's character plays piano. The popular singer says of her role,
I think one of the reasons I was approached for the role was that one of the production executives saw me perform a really emotional song sitting at the piano, as we see Rosemary do in the movie. Although she is only seen a very few times, Rosemary is alluded to throughout the movie. She is such an interesting character to me because she reminds me of an analogy of the modern day artist. A lot of the time you have someone who is so fragile and vulnerable, and that is why they are so successful at making art or successful. But that can also be their downfall as happened in Rosemary’s case. She was exposed to too much and couldn’t handle it, and I think that that plays out in modern day society all the time.
The people who inhabit the world of "The Hunger Games" live in a very ordered, dystopian society. The people in "The Giver" do as well. In Katniss' District 12, it's very easy to see the problems with the society such as children being sent to fight to the death in The Games. Jonas' world is just as sinister, but it's a bit harder to see why at first—in fact, it's almost presented as a utopia. If you enjoyed seeing the lengths that people will go to maintain order, go see "The Giver" for a different interpretation. Jeff Bridges, who plays The Giver, says,
The question that is put to the audience is: does the end justify the means? What are we willing to do for simple comfort? Are we willing to scrap all these huge polarities in our lives? Can we be rid of the tremendous sorrows and tremendous joys in life in order to just have a neutral, safe, relatively happy existence? Is that good enough for us?
'The Giver' set the precedent
Lois Lowry (pictured) wrote "The Giver" back in 1993. Her work, which won the 1994 Newbery Medal, was one of the first dystopian novels that was written specifically for young adults. Today, dystopias are incredibly popular, but Lowry's work was on the shelves long before "Divergent" or "The Hunger Games" made it big. Therefore, if you loved Suzanne Collins' work or its movie, go see "The Giver," which likely inspired it.
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