In my opinion, after reading The Giver by Lois Lowry and then watching the movie, I tend to like the movie better. Although the book was a good read, the movie had more action. I found myself dragging a bit while reading the book. However the movie condensed the story, which made it more exciting.
The movie took the book’s important details and condensed them into a shorter version of the story, which is very typical of movies vs. books. Sometimes this isn’t always the best because a lot of details are left out that truly make the story. However, in this case the movie made it more exciting and much easier to follow. For example, in the book, the Giver transmits the memory of a sunburn to Jonas. In the movie, instead of a sunburn memory it is a beesting memory. This made it more realistic and entertaining to watch. Also, when Jonas first receives the memory of the snow, we get a glimpse of the Christmas house in the beginning of the movie. Verses in the book we only get to read about it towards the end. Having the visual early on really sets the mood.
Another component of the movie vs. the book is that is loaded with more action and conflict. The chief elder in the book is not mentioned as much as she actually appears in the movie. Her presence is much more important in the movie. She is portrayed as the villain who is determined to find out what Jonas and the Giver are up to. Whereas in the book she doesn’t play this role and is only mentioned a few times. Another example that shows more conflict is Jonas’ friend Asher’s assignment. In the book, Asher is chosen as director of recreation. However in the movie, he is chosen as a hovercraft pilot. Hovercrafts are used to spy on community members mostly to make sure they are taking their morning injections. This creates conflict because Asher now thinks he has the ability to spy on Jonas even though it is against the rules to spy on the Giver and the Receiver.
Lastly, I really enjoyed the visual effects that the movie creates. When I read a book I do visualize the story, however I love to see a movie bring it to life. It was hard to picture certain memories in the book that Jonas was receiving because some of them were very complicated. The movie effect allowed a simple visual to help clarify the details of the memories with visual aide. When I was reading I had a hard time visualizing the memory that Jonas receives of the Civil War. There was so much going on that it was confusing. However, in the movie I was able to get a clear image of what was going on. Also, the book’s description of some the memories were grueling and very sad. The movie made them seem not as bad and less intense.
It is not always that I prefer the movie version of a book. Sometimes I feel the book explains a story much more depending on the plot. However, in the case of The Giver by Lois Lowry, the movie helps simplify and dramatize the details of this story. There was more conflict, excitement and it was much easier to visualize. One could just see the movie and not read the book and still get a complete understanding of this story.