I read The Giver when I was ten. I’ve dreamt of a film adaptation ever since. And I’ve been waiting anxiously for the trailer from the moment the movie was announced, long before I wrote a post in which I worried that the adaptation would suck.
And then, it showed up. The trailer.
In some ways, this movie matters more to me than even the Harry Potter, Tolkien, and Hunger Games adaptations. When the first Potter movie came out I didn’t even know the series existed. I only read Tolkien’s books because the new version of The Hobbit debuted. I didn’t care about The Hunger Games when I saw its film adaptation.
But The Giver? I love it to pieces, and I didn’t even want to watch the trailer for several days because I knew it wouldn’t be the same as the story inside my head. But I did, eventually, and here are my thoughts. (You can find my other reactions to film trailers here, by the way.)
Warning: Spoilers ahead! Read/watch at your own risk!
0:05 – Nothing is happening in the trailer so I’ll just use this time to say that I saw Divergent on Friday and although this trailer was not shown before, I did see an ad for The Maze Runner and I REALLY WANT TO READ IT NOW.
0:12 – That better not be the Chief Elder narrating, but I think it is. …why? She’s not supposed to know about the past. She’s not supposed to be knowingly withholding anything from the community. She’s just as clueless as the rest of them.
0:21 – Eeee! Gabe! And at first I thought the other two were Jonas’ mother and father but at second glance, I’m pretty sure they’re Jonas and Fiona.
0:26 – Noooo, why would anyone want films to be accurate to their original books? Why would anyone want Fiona’s hair red like it should be instead of brown?
0:27 – Lily! And Asher! I think.
0:30 – The Giver just said, “The way things look, and the way things are, are very different.” Hey. Look. That describes my feelings about this trailer. This amuses me.
0:35 – It looks like Fiona is being Released? What?
0:36 – They don’t take morning injections! They take pills! I know this is a nitpick, but seriously. If a movie can’t even handle the little details, I don’t feel great about their ability to handle the big things.
0:42 – It’s hard to see what’s happening because the images flash by so quickly, but I see the sled!
0:44 – OH NO THEY’RE NOT GOING TO.
0:45 – OH WAIT THEY DID WHY.
0:46 – THEY’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO KISS! Blergh. I don’t mind love stories. What I do mind are unnecessary love stories – especially when the original book didn’t have one. Please don’t make The Giver the next YA-dystopian-with-romance thing.
0:53 – “There is something that has been stolen.” Oh, I agree. It’s called accuracy to the book. How can Fiona even say that? She doesn’t know what Jonas and the Giver know, and she couldn’t even if she tried. No one but those two know what’s wrong with their society.
0:54 – Rosemary could say those lines, to be sure, but that doesn’t look like Rosemary. She’s played by Taylor Swift and that’s not Taylor right there. I’m sure of it.
0:59 – “When people have the freedom to choose, they choose wrong.” Oh, I totally agree. If the filmmakers are included in “people,” that is. How would the Chief Elder even know about choice?
1:02 – It’s not like the book made a big deal about light-colored eyes being A) rare in the community and B) necessary to become a Giver or Receiver of Memory, or anything. It’s not like brown eyes make a difference. (Sarcasm! But seriously, why do movies do this? Aren’t there colored contact lenses? Isn’t there CGI?)
1:06 – Stop ripping off The Hunger Games there with the futuristic uniforms and motorbikes. How is this even happening? The Giver was published before. But those look exactly like the Peacekeepers. (Maybe all the dystopias share police?)
1:08 – Ah, this part looks familiar and un-messed-up. Jonas is escaping with Gabe! But wait, what’s that?
1:09 – Um.
1:10 – Why was Jonas just sucked in to a hovercraft-thingy? He doesn’t get captured. And the place where he ends up doesn’t have that kind of technology.
1:11 – I don’t even understand what the point of this movie will be, or how it will end.
1:15 – “Receive your destiny.” Mine will probably involve angry muttering in the theater.
1:21 – “Based on the book by Lois Lowry.” Screenplay written by people who have never read it.
1:23 – This is the best part of the trailer because it’s just a black screen.
1:25 – There is nothing quite like seeing a favorite childhood book just ripped apart. I feel like I’ll be more disappointed than I was with Harry Potter.
I am in a bad mood right now. I am in a bad nerdy mood. Disappointed nerds are dangerous. Or something.
But seriously. It’s possible that I’m being too judgmental about things like the color of Jonas’ eyes or Fiona’s hair, but what about the rest? What about all the things that seem to indicate that more than two people know the community is in reality a terrible place? That just doesn’t make sense.
Earlier, I was looking on Wikipedia for other information and it says the movie is loosely based on the novel. Yeah. That’s not what I want to see. What I see is that very little of the book made it into the movie. Or at least into its trailer.
What are your thoughts on the trailer for The Giver?