The Giver, which released to the public its new trailer on Wednesday, advances the ongoing trend of Hollywood dystopian films. Directed by Phillip Noyce, the movie adaptation of the 1993 Lois Lowry best-seller, starring Academy Award-winners Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep and singer Taylor Swift, is set to open in theaters on Aug. 15.
Breton Thwaite plays the role of a young Jonas, destined to become the Receiver of Memory from the Giver, played by Bridges. Originally a Receiver himself, the Giver is one of the only inhabitants of the futuristic society, supposedly free from pain and suffering but ruled by conformity, who knows what things were like before the sterile homogeneity. The wisdom of the Giver is meant to be passed on to the new Receiver. With the infamous popularity of The Hunger Games so resolute amongst movie-goers, it is fitting to see the release of another dystopian movie hitting theaters this September.
Divergent, a new franchise set to open in theaters this Friday, is based upon a society where humans are manipulated and dehumanized, classified into specific groups according to personality traits. Shailene Woodley, 22, plays the role of the heroine, Tris Prior, a teenager just learning about her role within a post-apocalyptic society. After taking the aptitude test to determine which faction of her society she would have to adopt, she learns that she is in fact a ‘Diverget,’ meaning that she is in the possession of multiple traits of personality. In the film, this means that she might be dangerous to the systems of rule from which she derives. Though once she leaves her home of Abnegation, her journey begins.
This plot line may sound familiar to moviegoers or to anybody who is a fan of Jennifer Lawrence. For that reason, director of the Divergent film Neil Burger said he nearly did not see the film through because he feared that it would be like repeating what has already been shown in theaters. However, he thought the story of Tris’ journey was too epic to forgo.
Divergent is based upon the books written by Veronica Roth. The movie is projected to approach $70 million in sales in its opening weekend across the US and Canada. Insurgent, a second movie in the burgeoning franchise is already set to be released in 2015.
Both dystopian movies supplement the unmistakable Hollywood trend which so far has captivated audiences, worldwide. The Giver and Divergent each profess to be different in their efforts to portray a futuristic society submerged into obedience, submission and allegiance to a higher order of controlling governance. In The Hunger Games, one girl stands as a symbol of hope and freedom for her subservient and oppressed people. The ‘Divergent’ spirit is alive in the character of Tris, where the humbling assimilation of knowledge and wisdom presents itself to the maturing Jonas, the Receiver of Memory who is left to abide by his mentor. Each of these stories is significant enough to be imparted in their own realms of other-worldly imaginative movie-making via the silver screen. Certainly, a trend in Hollywood is appearing, and it seems like there is no slowing it down anytime soon.
Opinion By Bryan William Myers