[Movie Review] The Giver

Here it is another Hollywood’s product that talks about the suppression of emotion. This might be the best “suppressed emotion” movie I’ve watched after “Equilibrium”.
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I am not going to give you the synopsis nor teaser, sorry, I will only share you the philosophy this movie expressed. And, oh, one important thing…. at first the movie runs colorless. Greyscale mode. It is meant to be. Gradually, as the protagonist, Jonas (Brenton Thwaites) explore his “transferred-memory” the movie started to color. It’s clearly explain: how do you know the green is green, yellow is yellow, brunette is brunette, if you never taught so.

The story begins with the explanation of the place called “The Community”. A peaceful place, where people believe in the sameness; no differences, no envy, no emotion, no love, no lie, nothing. Only order and rules. Cold rules.

The people of community live in harmony. They live in the dwells (not house), with their family units. And each of the new-adult (called the graduated) already set assigned “the positions” (job) once they graduated; they become drone pilots, nurturing nurses, farmers, judges, teachers, birth mothers, etc. They have no last name, only first names. And as in the Equilibrium movie, the people of The Community accept “morning injection”–which later explained as a susbtance that works to “remove” emotion.

Well, if you ask me, an innocent society is actually a great concept. A heaven-like. It’s great, except the “emotion suppression” part. Because, how come you know which is right or wrong if you never make any mistakes? How can you love if you never experienced pain? How do you know killing, or murder, or war is completely wrong if you can’t see that it only brings pain to people they (both victims and murderer) left behind?

But human is incapable to accept the pain of hatred, envy and war in a matter of seconds. We need time to process such information. That’s why, when Jonah is assigned, The Chief Elder asked him, “Are you strong enough?”

Well… are we? 🙂
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And yeah, there’s something about apples that brought out several times in the movie. I think it’s a symbol. We all know that apples is the symbol of knowledge, as Sir Isaac Newton said. 😀 Well, what I meant here by symbol related to the entire movie. Perhaps it means, use your emotion with wisdom of knowledge.

There are some quotes that make it clearer of why they tried to suppress memory of emotions:

The Chief Elder (Meryl Streep): “People are weak. People are selfish. When people have the freedom to choose, they choose wrong. Every single time.”

The Giver (Jeff Bridges): “Of lost, of pain, music, joy, the raw, impossible, beautiful feeling of love, your son, he felt that. That girl, she have felt it. We are living a life of shadows, of echoes, of fade distant whispers of what made this real.”
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So… God gives emotion to human simply to make human, well, human. Perhaps that’s what the movie is trying to tell us.

And one more thing…. I wept when The Giver started to transfer the memory of killings: poaching and war. Yes, some of us human did and do terrible, heart-breaking things, which is wrong!–but somehow thank to them, we learned how to overcome those pain and get stronger because of that. And we also learn, in this “helplessly corrupted” earth, we found that life is still worth to fight for, thanks to friendship, trust, faith, and love.

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