- Directed by: Neil Burger
- With: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Kate Winslet and Miles Teller
- 139 Minutes
- IMDb: 7.5
From the same studios that brought you the high-grossing YA franchises “Twilight” and “The Hunger Games” comes one of the most anticipated movies of the year: “Divergent”! Based on the novel by Veronica Roth, this is the story of a dystopian version of Chicago in which after a huge war, the survivors in order to regain peace developed a new government system that divided the population into 5 different factions:
- Erudite – The Intelligent
“Ignorance is defined not as stupidity but as lack of knowledge. Lack of knowledge inevitably leads to lack of understanding. Lack of understanding leads to a disconnect among people with differences. Disconnection among people with differences leads to conflict. Knowledge is the only logical solution to the problem of conflict. Therefore, we propose that in order to eliminate conflict, we must eliminate the disconnect among those with differences by correcting the lack of understanding that arises from ignorance with knowledge.” – Erudite Manifesto, Veronica Roth
- Candor – The Honest
“Truth makes us transparent. Truth makes us strong. Truth makes us inextricable.” – Candor Manifesto, Veronica Roth
- Amity – The Peaceful
“Give freely, trusting that you will be given what you need… Do not be angry. The opinions of others cannot damage you… The wrong is past. You must let it rest where it lies… You must no longer think cruel thoughts. Cruel thoughts lead to cruel words, and hurt you as much as they hurt their target.” – Amity Manifesto, Veronica Roth
- Abnegation – The Selfless
“I choose to turn away from my reflection, to rely not on myself but on my brothers and sisters, to project always outward until I disappear.” – Abnegation Manifesto, Veronica Roth
- Dauntless – The Brave
“We believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another… We believe in shouting for those who can only whisper, in defending those who cannot defend themselves.” – Dauntless Manifesto, Veronica Roth
Those who didn’t fit in any of these factions were left away, the factionless, with less rights and conditions but, since the people from Abnegation had the government jobs, the people who live in poorest conditions have access to some food.
After turning sixteen years old, boys and girls from all factions had to participate in an Aptitude Test with the objective of helping them chosing the faction where they were going to live in the many years left in their lives. Despite the results of the Aptitude Test they still had the right to choose their faction in the Choosing Ceremony.
After choosing their faction there’s no turning back and in some cases it means that they’re not allowed to visit their family anymore.
Faction before blood.
Beatrice Prior (Shailene Woodley) is a sixteen year old girl from Abnegation and the results of her test were inconclusive which means that she had the virtues of several factions. She was a Divergent and in the current political situation in which Erudite was constantly threatening Abnegation that was a dangerous thing to be. In the choosing ceremony, Beatrice and her brother Caleb (Ansel Elgort, Augustus in “The Fault in Our Stars”) had to choose their faction and while her brother pick Erudite, she chose Dauntless leaving their parents alone. It was funny to watch the two leading actors from the upcoming movie “The Fault in Our Stars” in the same screen as brothers.
unfortunately for Beatrice (Tris), after her tough decision of leaving home she still has to pass through the difficult initiation process of the Dauntless in which she has to be prepared both physically and mentally in order to belong to the faction. Eric, one of the Dauntless’ leader, and the mysterious Four (Theo James) will evaluate the initiates according to their progress. As a divergent, Tris will have to learn how to hide her virtues in the simulations in order to protect her self from the people who are looking for other ones like her. She will meet a really bad guy named Peter (interpreted by Milles Teller, from “The Spectacular Now”) who will make her life and most of the initiates’ life a living hell.
Actually I was kind of disappointed with the Peter from the movie that was a bit softer than what was described in the book. In the novel, Peter was just pure Evil and he made terrible things such was stabbing a guy in the eye just because he was in front of him in the initiation process.
After discovering the evil plan from the Erudite leader, Jeanine (interpreted by Kate Winslet), who wished to eliminate all the divergents and start a war against Abnegation with the “help” of the Dauntless in order to gain the control of the city, Tris will have to count with the help her friends, family and some of her enemies to protect the people of her former faction.
Kate Winslet made a really great job by interpreting a mean and rude leader and will make you feel a bit anger in some moments, making the story more interesting and entertaining.
The plot of the movie sticks to the essential without losing too much time with the initiation process and other things that looked a bit dumb or weak in the novel. The story also suffered changes since some of the events were shown in different occasions or shown in a more enjoyable way. I was surprised that they decided to give less attention to Tris and Four relationship since it would sell more the movie to the YA audience and more emphasis on the political situation.
I was also really happy with the final sequences of the movie that were by far more amazing and less predictable and I think that the chemistry between Theo and Shailene was pretty good.
Despite all this good things, it’s true that after “The Hunger Games” the critics and probably most of the viewers were expecting something better since the movie fails in surprising and some of the acting was a bit disappointing. But trust me that in the end, Kate Winslet and Shailene Woodley’s performances will make you enjoy this first ride to the world of “Divergent”.
Funny, interesting and fully packed with good action sequences, “Divergent” fails in bringing the emotion and the thrill of “The Hunger Games” but is a good adaptation of Veronica’s Roth novel and more than just a popcorn movie. The movie ended up being enjoyable and was a good fresh start for the rest of the trilogy.