So for those of you who have no idea what this movie is about, here’s a quick synopsis.
Beatrice “Tris” Prior lives in a world where your life is dictated by the personality traits you value, fearlessness, selflessness, honesty, intelligence and peace – each of which makes up a Faction. She’s lived her whole life in Abnegation the faction that values selflessness and now it’s time for her to make a choice – stay in her own faction or move on to another one and leave her family behind, luckily there is a test to help her decide. But when Beatrice takes the test she discovers that she doesn’t fit into one faction, she fits into several… she’s Divergent. Now Beatrice must choose her path and keep her secret at any cost, because being Divergent means you can’t be controlled and in a society built on control, Divergence is the enemy.
The movie is loosely based on the best-selling novel by Veronica Roth, and I emphasise the word loosely, because like most book-to-movie adaptations the producers took liberties to make it more commercial and PG 13. Of course you know I read the book and was far too eager to watch the movie and see how it all play out on screen – unfortunately, from the perspective of the book, I was a little disappointed. The book is so rich with great characters and plays out in such an unexpected way, and the movie just doesn’t bring much of what I loved across – except for the zipline scene, that was awesome! Like Harry Potter, the movie leaves out a few key details that really make the story amazing, I think that sometimes producers forget that those small details, that they think aren’t necessary, are exactly what the readers can’t wait to see come to life.
Having said that, the movie is actually really entertaining. Stepping away from the reference to the book and watching it as an independent movie I really enjoyed it, it’s got everything people love – action, romance and a great new world. Shailene Woodley surprised me, at first I didn’t think she had the character down but as the movie progressed she became more and more like the Tris in the book. Again, they play out her character differently but overall she did a good job of keeping us interested in Tris’ story. Kate Winslet’s character, Jeanine Matthews, has more face time in the movie than in the book and it serves to bring the element of Divergence in. As always she plays the role nicely and was able to give life to the character brining in the elements of understanding and dislike of her character. All the other big names did an ok job as well – Ashley Judd, Miles Teller, Maggie Q and Mekhi Phifer all bring some credit to the movie and adapted the characters well. But for me the winning actor was Theo James. Really from all the characters in the book his portrayal of Four was spot on. His feigned indifference of Tris, mixed with his obvious feelings for her was so well done. I liked the way he threw in a coy smile and demonstrated Four’s shadowed reaction to his fears. He really stole the show for me and I think he’s the one who’s going to save the movie for the fans of the book. His being incredibly sexy doesn’t hurt either.
So in a nutshell, if you want to see this movie because you loved the book, you might want to give it a miss, they change a lot and leave out things I know you want to see like specific characters and key information. But if you’re ready for a movie that brings you a new world and interesting characters, I would definitely recommend you give Divergent a try.
WARNING!!! SPOILERS AHEAD!!!
While I did enjoy the movie for what it is, there were a few things about it that really ticked me off (from the perspective of the books as a hole) and I’ve just got to get them off my chest, so expect major spoilers from here on out.
It bugs me so much that Tris NEVER (not once, not at all) called Four, Tobias. Not even in his fearscape, Marcus says it. Why? That’s like the key element of how she brought him out of the simulation. I don’t see how throwing in a simple line of “don’t call me Four” would have made any difference to the length of the movie.
The exclusion of characters like Uriah and Edward make me wonder what the second movie is going to be like. It would have been easy to include them if they stuck with the 18 or so initiates like in the book, where the hell did the extra 30 people come from all of a sudden?
The relationship between Chris and Will was so ridiculously subtle in the movie I had to watch it several times to even pick up on it? Is the Tris/Christina relationship going to feature in the second movie?
And nice Molly?! Are you f*&$ing kidding me?