Divergent (2014)

DivergentFrom imdb.com: In a world divided by factions based on virtues, Tris learns she’s Divergent and won’t fit in. When she discovers a plot to destroy Divergents, Tris and the mysterious Four must find out what makes Divergents dangerous before it’s too late.

Why I Chose It: I was mildly curious about this movie since it had come out. Although I must admit: I have not read the books.

The Review:

Although I was curious about this movie, I was really hesitant on seeing it. There haven’t been a lot of young adult book-based movies that I’ve been thrilled with lately, and I was worried this would be more of the same. While this movie is similar in many ways, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised.

World Building

I really enjoyed the introduction to this movie. It explained how their society is split into factions based on different skills and virtues, and how people are divided into each faction. It was very quick and concise, and I found it very easy to understand. The one aspect I loved about this introduction was that it didn’t assume the audience had read the books. I get really frustrated when a movie doesn’t explain details on the assumption that everyone knows exactly what’s going on. But I found Divergent avoided that nicely, and yet it was still quick enough as to not bore the people who had read the books.

For the factions, I really enjoyed the way they were represented in the movie. There were so many different visual cues that played very nicely on the screen; for example, each faction wears clothes of different colours. It showed the separation of the factions, and yet the society was brought together for ceremonies where they blended together. Even though this is a dystopian world, I found the way it was presented made it believable.

Factions

Tris

I absolutely fell in love with Tris. The one thing I loved so much about her was she wasn’t perfect at everything right away. Yes, she was a very strong female lead, but I would argue she was more mentally strong than anything else. She wasn’t a good fighter right away and had to learn those skills. She’s petite, and has to learn to use that when fighting hand to hand. Tris isn’t a good shot at first, and again has to learn how to shoot. For me this was a perfect character. Being a “strong female” doesn’t mean you have to be naturally good at everything, and Tris proves this by showing how someone who is strong in personality, emotion, and morality still has to learn to be physically strong as well.

TrisTrain

Shailene Woodley

This was my first opportunity to see Woodley’s acting and I really enjoyed her performance. I thought she did a really nice job with all the fighting scenes, and she seemed to fit in to the physical aspect of the role. The one thing I really enjoyed throughout the movie was how she was able to convey a lot of emotion through very subtle facial expressions. She would give a very minor reaction and I felt like I knew exactly was the character was feeling. Woodley is an actress that I would definitely be willing to go see again.

The Love Story

Because no movie can exist without a love story.

To be fair, this is one of the better love stories I have seen in a long time. There’s a lot of stuff to deal with in the beginning of the movie, such as Tris joining a new faction, and the training that comes with being a Dauntless. So it was really nice to see that the love story isn’t added on top of that; it isn’t until much later in the movie that it really surfaces. I also loved the fact that Tris and Four really get to know each other before they show any emotions toward one another. They train together and learn each others deepest fears before someone makes a move. I can’t say how much this pleases me, and as a result it’s a love story that I really enjoyed watching.

The Summary

I wasn’t prepared to like this movie as much as I did. All around it was full of pleasant surprises and kept me intrigued and happy. I am now definitely curious about the books and will be making the time to read them. Although the movie over all was good, I’m not sure I would have enjoyed it as much if I didn’t like Tris so much, or really if anyone else had played her. She is was really made this movie for me. I will not be so hesitant to see the next installment, Insurgent, when it comes out this year.

Rating: 4 / 5

Tris

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