I love movies. The soundtrack, the actors, the location of filming, all coming together to make a wonderful work of art. I also happen to love books. A LOT. Usually, whenever I hear that a movie will be made based on a book I have read, I am elated. I want others to experience the story, cheer for the protagonist, develop strong feels for the “bad guy,” and basically ride the emotional roller coaster that is every good novel. Of course, I am a firm believer in reading novels before they become box office hits, and not the other way around. Yes, it may ruin the surprise of the movie, but it is better in the long run. If you read the book first and something truly resonates with you, you will experience those same emotions in the theater. My biggest beef comes when movies leave out important pieces of stories. I understand that they need to cut some things, or else all movies would be five hours long, but it still leaves a mark. Take the Harry Potter film franchise for example. I read the books, watched the movies, and essentially grew up with Harry, Ron, and Hermione. The movies, however, fail to mention many major points (and some not so major that still would have been cool to see). Basically, if you live your entire life just watching the movies and not reading the books, you’re missing out on half the fun.
Enough about my Harry Potter rant though (I’ve attached a link to a Buzz Feed article that explains what you’re missing out on by just watching the HP movies if anyone is interested).
The real reason I am writing this post is because it has been announced that the beloved Lois Lowry novel, The Giver will be made into a movie. This movie, which is scheduled for release on August 15th, 2014, stars Brenton Thwaites as Jonas, Jeff Bridges as The Giver, Meryl Streep as the Chief Elder, and, wait for it, Taylor Swift as Rosemary. Now, I loved T-Swift back when she actually sang country music, and Meryl is always great, but I cannot go see this movie. One of the most amazing aspects of the book is the idea that so much is left up to your imagination. The utopia society in which Jonas and co. live has no pain, war, suffering, or differences. Everyone is the same and there is little mention of color or otherwise differing characteristics. This is what makes the book so special. You are free to imagine the world within The Giver however you wish to see it. Making this book into a movie is robbing younger generations of children the pleasure, and at times confusion, that comes with reading the book.
Another major issue I have with The Giver being turned into a movie is the ending. Lois Lowry left the ending very open, allowing you to envision what you wished. I can vividly remember sitting in Mrs. Bebb’s seventh grade Reading class discussing the ending to The Giver. We were free the decide what we thought happened. At first, I thought that everyone imagined the same ending as me. However, after hearing the various takes my classmates had, I came to the startling conclusion that everyone saw the ending a different way. This idea both fascinated and confused me. I truly believe it was at this point that I fell in love (again) with books and the power they have over us. I feel it is a true shame to deny children the joy of discovering this by turning The Giver into a movie. Well, that’s my rant. If you haven’t read The Giver yet, I strongly urge you to. Please read it and discover your own ending before the movie ruins it.