What parents should know about ‘The Giver’

The big release this week is the big-screen adaptation of the young adult novel from 1993 “The Giver.”

The movie tries to raise moral questions and place us in situations to ponder how we would act.

The book was written for a younger audience, and that’s the target for the film, but is it OK for them?

Sexiness

This movie is very tame in terms of sexiness, and when broken down it’s really next to none.

There are one or two moments of a teenage couple kissing, but that is about it. No talk of sex, no allusions to it, and even the romantic elements are few and far between.

In the category of sexiness, this movie should be appropriate for anyone.

Violence

There is a little violence in the film, but nothing blatant. The most obvious violence in the film comes in the form of a grainy flashback of war.There are real threats of violence, but not much is actually played out on screen.

When it comes to actual violence or gore, the film is more of a PG rating than a PG-13. Most animated adventures like “How to Train Your Dragon” and “Wreck-It Ralph” have more violence than “The Giver.”

Language

Like pretty much everything else on this list so far the coarse language is almost at zero.

As I think back, I can’t really come up with any rough language throughout the film. A main point of emphasis in the fictional community where our subjects live in “The Giver” is it’s very strict about using direct and clear language, so curse words and harsh language aren’t existent.

Again, the language would fall more into a PG realm.

Adult themes

With all of this, you may be wondering how “The Giver” got a PG-13. Well, my best guess is due to adult themes.

The themes discussed in the film range from free will, love, oppression and murder. The murder aspect can actually be very disturbing as it revolves around the elderly, youths and even newborns.

There are a couple of moments where these themes are in full display, and it can be truly disturbing. One scene in particular likely merited the PG-13 all on its own.

While these themes are played out on screen, to a point, it doesn’t really feel like violence or gore nearly as much as it is just disturbing.

This last point alone would make “The Giver” more appropriate for teenage audiences than for little ones.

Conclusion

Overall, “The Giver” is one of the more tame young adult adaptations to date. The movie should be appropriate for its target audience of teens, but your little ones will likely be bored in the film and have a tough time following what’s happening.

“The Giver” is rated PG-13 for a mature thematic image and some sci-fi action/violence.

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