Divergent: Movie Review! Young Adult Movies Fight Back! (Spoilers Marked!)
Divergent is based on the best selling novel with the same name by Veronica Roth. The movie tells the story of Beatrice "Tris" Prior who lives in a dystopian future society in Chicago. On her sixteenth birthday, she has to choose what faction she belongs with. When she takes the test that will tell her where she belongs, it tell her that she is Divergent, people who do not fit into the system. Now she has to hide the fact that she is Divergent and keep herself alive through the faction initiation process.
This movie has a lot of good things going for it. I mean, it has to be good being the number one movie in America opening night as well as a top seller on Fandango. It also stands to reason that with companies such as Summit Entertainment and Lions gave (producers and distributors for the Twilight Saga and the Hunger Games films respectively) backing a Young Adult movie, it has a real good chance of success, but I'm not here to talk about how well the movie did movie wise. Let's talk about the movie itself, shall we?
Like I said before, there are a lot of good things going on with this movie. The cast is superb despite my first misgivings. Having seen the horrid acting of The Secret Life of the American Teenager, I was concerned with having Shailene Woodley as our main girl Tris. I will be the first one to slap the back of my hand for such misgivings. She was fantastic! She was able to portray the silent strength of being in both Abnegation and Dauntless beautifully. I also have to give the girl mad props for all of the running she had to do in the movie. She must of had legs of steel by the time the movie was over.
I also want to give a shout out to Tony Goldwyn and Ashley Judd who play Tris's parents in the movie. I'm been a big fan of Goldwyn for awhile because of his role on Scandal, and Judd did such a good job as as Natalie. Both of them made my heart ache for all the right reasons. I also need to mention Theo James who plays Four in the movie. He also does a fantastic job, and I love his and Woodley's interactions throughout the film. Having good chemistry is important, and those two definitely have it.
One problem I did have acting-wise was Miles Teller who plays Peter. I think Teller is an amazing actor, but I didn't feel as much animosity towards Peter in the movie as I did in the book. He just was not a major part of the conflict in the whole movie. For the most part, he was a sarcastic jerk rather than being a murderous egotistical sociopath that he was in the first book. They probably didn't want to take the focus away from the fact that Divergents are in danger, but I think that he should have been a little bit more menacing.
I have to mention the greatness that is the score for this movie. I can't wait to get this particular score because of the sheer epic-ness that it processes. The Dauntless music in particular is pretty amazing. The music that they have while their running or training is really inspiring and really builds tension and suspense in the scenes. Junkie XL, the composer of the Divergent score, has probably given me a new running playlist. That probably means I should get back to running. Dang you, Junkie XL!
There were some major changes from the book to movie, but that it to be expected. You cannot adapt a movie straight from the book and have it be successful. There needs to be more actions, and emotions that are detailed in the book are seen through action in a movie. With that said, I was pretty happy with the changes made from the book to the movie. I will keep this as spoiler free as I can, but I will say that there were changes made to the capture the flag scene, Four's fear landscape scene, and the final climax scene. I was pretty happy with all of these changes, particularly Four's fear landscape scene and how that influences Tris and her fear landscape. It just made more sense to me than it did in the book.
I will spoil one aspect of the movie and how it deals with Veronica Roth. So if you don't wish to know please skip to the next paragraph. Now, Veronica Roth is in the movie. She is a member of Dauntless that goes to zip-line with Tris and other members of Dauntless and initiates. You can see her just as they open the doors to the roof. I just want to let you know because I thought it was pretty awesome. Back to the spoiler-free part of the review.
Overall, this movie was fantastic, and I would recommend it to both fans of the book and fans of movies. There's action for the boys, romance for the girls, and an excellent message of being different and fighting for what you believe. Don't be disconcerted with its Young Adult background, this is a movie that can be enjoyed by all.
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