Many people refer to their homeland as the mother country. Those people didn’t know The Chief Elder, a matriarch as stern as they come who’s running the show in the country depicted in The Giver.
Directed by Philip Noyce and based on the YA book by Lois Lowry, The Giver essentially rips in half the mother archetype, tied to the Moon-Lunar principle of nurturing, feelings and emotion.
On one end of the spectrum is The Elder (Meryl Streep), an elegant feminine energy who has taken matters into her own tribal hands after an apocalyptic event wreaked havoc on the place.
To keep the denizens free from the pain of remembering horrors since the beginning of time, the territory is run as a seemingly benevolent dictatorship. The tyrannical component comes from its slew of Saturnine elements: rules, organization, precision, firmness and, when necessary, punishment. With her strong Saturnine physical appearance, The Elder is the Mother who oversees operations – daily life is a mind-numbing sameness – with the crispness of Cronos ready to devour his own children.
At the other end of the spectrum is The Giver (Jeff Bridges), the community’s keeper of memories – the bad stuff, like war, as well as the good stuff, such as appealing emotions of joy, love and family – which have now been denied the populace. He, too, represents the Moon, which values giving. His inability to deliver is hampered by the community’s Saturnine regulations.
Both The Elder and The Giver represent two sides of the same archetypal coin. The individual who’ll soon radically shake up the status quo is Jonas (Brenton Thwaites). He’s just graduated from high school and, like two of his close friends – Fiona (Odeya Rush) and Asher (Cameron Monaghan) – has been assigned a position in the community. Jonas will succeed The Giver and become the new keeper of memories. Hint: Jonas, a more Uranian Rebel of a Mother, would rather share. Uh-oh.
Will the community, with its artificial Moon-like caring construct – women are assigned separate roles to birth children who are then deposited with assigned Fathers (Alexander Skarsgård) and Mothers (Katie Holmes) – hold up once Jonas’ wheels start turning? And what will be the fate of the infant Gabriel who seems destined to become the archetypal Divine Child?
The Giver questions whether to introduce into an unaware population a treasure chest that doubles at Pandora’s box. Tough job, being a Mom.
Astrology Film Rating: ☽ ♄ (Moon, Saturn)