In a perfect future world, emotional depth has been abolished and is monitored by daily injections – stop me if you’ve heard this one before.
No, it’s not 2002’s Equilibrium; it is Hollywood continuing its current penchant for adapting young adult fiction to film, and this time it’s Lois Lowry’s 1993 novel that gets the treatment.
Jonas (Brentron Thwaites) is chosen as the next “Receiver of Memory” and begins training with The Giver (Jeff Bridges), the only person who holds memories of the past, using them to advise the Chief Elder (Helen Mirren).
Jonas struggles with the dark secrets of his seemingly flawless community and sets about upsetting the established order with the help of The Giver.
The film’s source material is held in high regard, having won several literary awards. However, as with any imagining of a flawed future, it owes it’s existence to the daddies of dystopia, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World and George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty Four, along with a long line of similarly themed sci-fi flicks. A nice idea executed relatively well, but does The Giver go far enough to distance itself from what has come before it? Probably not. Entertaining, but unoriginal.
Review by Matt Blackwell
No Good Deed
The ever-charming Idris Elba shows his dark side as he takes on the role of Colin Evans, a mentally unhinged escaped convict. Colin arrives at the home of suburban mum, Terri (Taraji P. Henson), after a car accident in a storm. Allowing him in to use her phone, Terri initiates a cycle of terror as the out-and-out evil Evans plagues her and her family. Hovering between thriller and horror, No Good Deed is tense, but is largely run of the mill home invasion stuff.
Before I Go to Sleep
Nicole Kidman is back in fine form as she plays the amnesiac Christine Lucas, who wakes each day with no memory of her life beyond her mid-20s. With the help of her husband Ben (Colin Firth), the well-meaning Dr Nasch (Mark Strong) and her own video diary, she must piece together her own existence and the accident that led to her current condition. Paranoia is rife in this subdued British thriller that presents the audience with some enjoyable narrative puzzles.
Justine (Haley Bennett) is a college girl enjoying the peaceful isolation of her empty college during the Thanksgiving holiday. Events take a turn for the sinister when it becomes clear that she is being targeted by a group of violent outcasts, forcing her to make the transition from innocent victim to proactive fighter in order to survive.
The 10-year-old Kali (Anishika Shrivastava) is kidnapped during a day with her estranged father Rahul (Rahul Bhatt). Kali’s police chief stepfather, Bose (Ronit Roy) and Rahul both set out to recover the lost child with a constant desire to upstage one another.