Movie Review – “Divergent” Effectively Brings Novel to Life

The wait for the Divergent movie has finally ended as it is now in theaters! I am going to share some of my thoughts about the film in a TrulyLuminary exclusive review!

Divergent has brought a lot of relevant and interesting topics to the young adult realm and the film captures those elements nicely. The intrigue, action, and romance from the book are all portrayed very well and come through on screen. Even though there are some things from the book that did not get put in, the movie still expresses the overall feeling of the novel.

Divergent - #17

The younger cast is quite talented and they all held their own against the established adult actors in the film. Shailene Woodley was powerful as Tris and her performance was believable. Newcomer Theo James also did well as Four and gave a smoldering performance that will no doubt leave audiences swooning.

Four was my favorite character in the novels and he is definitely my favorite character in the films. Through his performance, James was able to bring Four’s major (and loveable) character traits from the books onto the screen.

Divergent - #20

Supporting actors in the film also gave very powerful performances and audiences will be excited to see more of them in the next film. For instance, Ansel Elgort, Miles Teller, and Zoe Kravitz all did a great job of really capturing the characters of Caleb Prior, Peter, and Christina respectively.

There was not a single moment where the performances weren’t believable or seemed like they were forced. Every cast member remained true to the character they were portraying.

Divergent - #36

The costumes, props, and set designs were very instrumental is creating the futuristic world Divergent is set in. In the novel, faction members all dress differently in order to represent which faction they are from and the costuming made this clear in the film.

Of course, the books are packed with action and the major action sequences are well done in the film. Choreographing those scenes was no doubt a difficult and intricate process and they played on screen quite effectively.

Divergent also was emotionally evocative. There were moments that would make you laugh, moments that would make you feel anxietal and tense, moments that would leave you teary-eyed, and moments that left you feeling empowered.

la_ca_1219_divergent

However, there were also some elements that could have been done differently. For parts of the film, you had to have read at least the first book to fully understand and appreciate. This is good for the fans who have read the book (or the series), but it makes it confusing for the audience members who have not.

As a woman, and given the progressive modern values on violence against women, the fight scene between Peter (Teller) and Tris (Woodley) made me feel uncomfortable. I recognize that this was a major scene in the novel and an important part of Tris’ initiation process, but nonetheless it was still uncomfortable to visibly see on screen.

Screen Shot 2014-03-21 at 11.41.28 AM

* WARNING – SPOILER AHEAD *

Near the end of the film, Tris shoots Peter to injure him and scare him into guiding them to where Jeanine (Kate Winslet) is running the warrior simulation. In the novel, he remains injured and he needs help when escaping the Dauntless faction. When they are escaping in the film, it seems that he is all of a sudden not injured and runs to catch the train without any difficulty.

Overall, Divergent was an entertaining film that captures the major elements of the story in an effective manner. Through believable performances, set pieces, and action sequences the world of Divergent was set up very nicely. Looking forward to the second film in the series and to see what the new director, Robert Schwentke, brings to the table.

Screen Shot 2014-03-21 at 11.15.42 AM

[3.5/5]

Are you going to be seeing Divergent in theaters? If so, share your thoughts about the film in the comments below!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s