I finally got the chance to see the much anticipated movie, “Divergent” by Veronica Roth and I was impressed. My motto about books turned into movies is “always the book before the movie” because there is usually a lot important details that are left out. However, this movie stayed true to the book, you would’ve gone to the theater without reading the book and you wouldn’t feel confused as if there is a missing piece of the puzzle. I am glad that the major points of the book were not excluded, but as every book to movie adaptation, there were some things that were changed and edited out. Many people compare this series to the Hunger Games and I would like to weigh in on this discussion. Divergent NOTHING like the Hunger Games, they are both different from each other, in terms of the plot and the message it is trying to convey. The only similarity between these two series is that they are both set in the dystopian future.
I’ll get started with the review, but please be advised that I will be giving away major spoilers. Therefore, please do not read this post if you haven’t read the book or seen the movie. Other than that, please enjoy and let me know in the comments box below what is your favorite character and your favorite part of the movie.
DIVERGENT MOVIE REVIEW
When I watched the trailers for the movie I felt like the director will try to focus more on the romance between Tris and Tobias (Four), luckily that was not the case. To me it seemed like there was a good balance between the romance and the struggle for freedom. Before I get into the specifics, here is a brief summary of what the first book is about. Divergent takes place in dystopian Chicago, where society is divided into five factions:
- Dauntless (the brave)
- Amity (the kind)
- Erudite (the intelligent)
- Candor (the honest)
- Abnegation (the selfless)
It is believed that these factions will bring order to the world and reduce the chaos that the world was going through many years ago. If you ask me, combining all of these factions into one seems like a better idea to me. Every year, sixteen year olds attend a aptitude test that will help them find out if they are compatible with another faction, after they receive their results they must decide whether to stay with their faction or choose another one.
The beginning of the movie was good and the pace of the scenes from Tris getting her haircut, going to the aptitude test, finding out that she is a Divergent and attending the Choosing ceremony was well done. With the Hunger Games and Twilight, I always felt like “Hey slow down, there is more to be showed and said”, with this one I didn’t feel like that. However, there were specific characters and scenes that were excluded from the movie, which I wasn’t thrilled about. For instance, some of the scenes that were missing and changed are:
- The Dauntless initiate who dies on the first train ride. Ok well, I can let that one slide.
- Edward’s missing eye. I was actually very interested to see this scene come to life, so I was definitely disappointed that it wasn’t included in the movie.
- Visiting Day. This is when the parents came to visit their children, this scene was very different in the movie. Instead we had Tris’s mother pop out of no where, asking her daughter to tell her the truth. I guess it is not super important to have it, but I would’ve liked to see the parents of the other initiates.
- Christina and Will’s relationship. There was a small hint in the movie of their relationship, but we didn’t see the conversation that happened in the book between Christina and Tris about Will. I feel like this was an important to include this, because Tris’s guilt about killing Will play an important role in shaping her character.
- The sexual assault scene. I know it was included, but it was cut short. I might not hate the idea of that though,because I hate this scene in the book. I wouldn’t have liked to see the groping part of that scene, it makes me cringe.
- Dauntless characters (Uriah, Marlene, Zeke). I am not sure why these characters were not included, I guess the makers of the movie wanted to focus more on the main characters, rather the side character. Despite that reasoning, I would’ve liked to see them and their interactions with Tris. I hope they include them in the second movie, because Uriah especially is an important character.
- Tobias (Four) drunk. Alright, so the only reason I wanted to see this particular scene is just for the laughs.
- Tris’s capture. This change kind of bothered me, in the book Tris is thrown into jail while undergoing her fears. Until her mother comes and saves her, in the movie Tris is being taken away, but before they get her into jail, her mother jumps to the rescue. Nevertheless, Ashley Judd’s entrance was exciting and it still turned out into a great scene, so I guess I will let it go.
- Tris vs Four. Alright, in the book the way the scene was done is Tris and Four are alone “fighting” each other, while she tries to make him remember her. This was a very personal moment between Tris and Four, but in the movie they had an audience, the Erudite people. I guess they made the change to be more action-packed movie, but I would’ve preferred if this scene was not changed.
Now that we have talked about the movie, I want discuss the acting because I thought it was great. I had a conversation my friend about the acting and she said that she did not like it, I have to strongly disagree. Shailene Woodley did a fabulous job playing Tris, throughout the books we have the opportunity to find out how Tris feels in certain situations. Shailene was able to portray Tris’s feelings of fear, doubt, happiness, sadness, through a simple look in her eyes and lip gestures.
Theo James did a great job portraying Four’s sternness, as well as his growing fondness for Tris.
Ashley Judd delivered a great performance of bringing that intensity of saving Tris and also reveling her Dauntless-born bravery.
Last but certainly not least is Kate Winslet, who plays Jeannine Matthews, the Erudite leader. She played Jeannine’s role perfectly and exactly how I pictured Jeannine’s cunning, evil personality to be portrayed in the big screen. Just like Shailene, Kate Winslet did a great job showing Jeannine’s determination and desire for control on her face, by simple things such as squinting her eyes and tightening her lips.
Overall, kudos to the cast for doing such an amazing job and the stunts were pretty impressive as well.
We are not quite finished yet, what is a movie review by a music fanatic without discussing the music in the movie. To describe the music in one word would be PHENOMENAL! I truly mean it because the soundtrack managed to capture the intensity and emotions of each scene so well. If a soundtrack from a movie manages to make me emotional and give me goosebumps, then it is top notch (in my books at least). I have already shared one of the songs from the movie in this week’s Music Monday post, so I am going to share my second favorite which is “Find You” by Matthew Koma, Miriam Bryant & Dj Zedd.
Before I end this post I want to recommend other dystopian books that all of you (or some of you) might enjoy.
- The Matched Trology by Allie Condie. This series about a dystopian world called the Society, the Society controls everything from what you eat, when you fall asleep, where you word, who you marry and when you die. Every year 17 year olds have to attend a Match Banquet where they get matched with a complete stranger. The main character Cassia is matched with the best friend Xander, but for a second another face was shown on the screen. This is when Cassia’s journey begins!
2. The Delirium trilogy by Lauren Oliver. This story is set in an alternate present where love is considered a disease. Therefore, every year 18 year olds have to undergo a surgery that remove the feeling of love. The government considers love to be dangerous and it has to be removed from mankind’s system.
Thank you for reading and see you soon!