First off, can we admit that it’s just a little creepy how Jonas grooms Fiona away from The Community so she can be his love interest, when in her drugged state, she comes across as something halfway between a child and a robot? When he first starts seeing colors and remembering the existence of love, he wants to bring her in on what he’s feeling, but there’s always an unsettling feeling that he’s doing it not for her, but out of frustration because he’s having, as the film says, “the stirrings,” and he wants her to stir back. When he kisses her, and she lacks any of the hormones to respond, it feels like he’s molesting a store mannequin, and getting frustrated because it isn’t on board with the program.
But that aside, the ending of this film is just inexplicably dumb. The book theorized that if Jonas left The Community, the memories he and the Giver held might slowly come back—an odd idea, since the Giver would still be there holding onto them, as he has been for decades. But given that there was no proof of the theory, the whole thing was theoretical anyway. In the film, Jonas flees and crosses the “Border Of Memory,” which causes everyone’s memories to slam back into place instantaneously—and then the story ends, right at the point where it might have gotten interesting.
More frustrating, though, is that Jonas somehow turns up at the house he saw in the Giver’s ancient memory of snow—an almost gingerbread-like cottage in the woods, with singing coming from inside. It’s a pretty picture, and one almost-kind-of taken from the end of the book. But given that he experienced it earlier as a long-distant memory, the fact that he’s there now, again, in the present, makes not the slightest whit of sense. It’s a puzzler destined to go down on the same Bafflement List as the end of Tim Burton’s Planet Of The Apes—assuming anyone remembers this boring, trend-following cash-grab of a movie six months from now.