DIVERGENT: BOOK VS. MOVIE
PROJECTOR NO.9: DIVERGENT: BOOK VS. MOVIE
If you haven’t read already my review for “Divergent” I believe it’s time for you to do so (click here to read my review) and if you haven’t any clue regarding the plot I advise you to don’t read this article since there are many spoilers ahead. Caught in the middle of this “Divergent” fever and after kicking the competition out at this weekend’s box office with the 2nd best opening of the year (behind “The Lego Movie” only), I thought about giving extra reasons for the fans of Veronica Roth’s trilogy to go to the theater and watch the movie.
As I’ve said earlier in my review, despite the disappointing reception by the critics, the movie is enjoyable and I honestly think that it was not just trustful to the book but also a really great start for the movie trilogy. The moments that were less interesting were cut out and even so the 2 hours and half were a bit short to explain the most important details of the story. Some of the events of the movie are shown in a different order and therefore I will only take in consideration the differences in the content.
INTRODUCING THE WORLD OF DIVERGENT
The movie begins with a small description of the current political situation of a dystopian version of Chicago where the government jobs taken by the Abnegation people in the early years post-war are now at risk since some of the most important personalities of Erudite started attacking some of the Abnegation leaders with some really bad accusations. The 5 factions are presented and it’s shown a more clear image of what being factionless means, since in the book the description seems not bad at all (honest persons driving buses and other jobs that perhaps are less interesting and without indication that they’re homeless). The book starts with the moment when Tris is watching herself on the mirror and the reader is only introduced to the world of “Divergent” a few pages later but since the book was written in the character’s point-of-view I assume it must be harder to explain what’s happening in the movie.
THE APTITUDE TESTS AND THE CHOOSING CEREMONY
There are a lot of similarities regarding the Aptitude Tests and the Choosing Ceremony. The piece of cheese was replaced by a large stake (that actually made more sense) and the moment in which Tris lies to a man was cut out, so in the end we just know her result. Susan and Robert were also cut out from the movie since they are minor characters and the conversation at the dinner table , in which are discused the accusations against Marcus from Erudite, is a bit less intense.
Peter’s first appearance is at the entrance of the building where the Aptitude Tests are made and instead of being just the mean character that is presented in the book, he is also a bit funny and therefore more complex and interesting. In the Choosing Ceremony Tris and Caleb are presented to Jeanine who soon shows a bit of her evilness.
The train jumping scene is a lot different from the book since none of the initiates failed to jump from the moving train and there weren’t any injuries and losses. By the time the train was gone, every single initiate was safe and listening to Eric’s presentation in which he states that only the top 10 initiates will belong to the Dauntless, leaving the rest as factionless (after one chooses his faction, there’s no turning back).
FIRST STAGE OF INITIAITON
In the movie, despite the superior number of initiates, the only fights shown are the ones with Tris and the one with Molly and Christina. A great decision that allowed the viewer to maintain his attention and interest. The plot also focuses on Tris’ preparation and the attack against Edward (the knife in the eye) was cut out.
The game between the teams commanded by Eric and Four looked in my opinion better in the movie with less time dedicated to the giant wheel scene and a different finale in which Tris is the one who grabs the flag (Why should be Christina the one capturing the flag when it was clear and obvious that it was Tris that deserved to seize the glory? This was perhaps one of the things I enjoyed the least in the book). The game is followed by a Dauntless ritual in which some of the initiates and Tris have to slide from a really tall building (This was shown later in the book.).
TRIS AND FOUR RELATIONSHIP
I honestly thought that after the success of “Twilight” the movie would focus a bit more on the romantic relation between Tris and Four but I was wrong (and I’m happy for being wrong). The kiss moment didn’t seem unnecessary and the plot focuses a lot more on their friendship and in the way that they helped each other fighting against their fears and obstacles. Theo James and Shailene Woodley had a cool chemistry and Four’s tattoos are a bit different from what was described in the book (in the movie the tattoos have the same size).
SECOND STAGE OF INITIATION: THE FEAR LANDSCAPES
Instead of manipulating the simulations, Tris learns how to handle her fears, with the help of Four, as a Dauntless would so that she could hide that she was a Divergent. The attack by Peter and Al was a bit quick and there wasn’t enough time to feel anger related to the moment. Because of it, the death of Al appeared to change almost nothing in the story. It’s Four who shows Tris, Erudite people bringing huge amounts of serum to the Dauntless’ headquarters, while in the book she knows about the simulation serum by her mother who requests her to look for Caleb and ask him to search it.
The sleepwalking war was a bit similar to the description of the book and the only changes happen after the capture of Tris and Four. Instead of watching Four being injected with the Serum, Tris is taken to another place and rescued by her mother. She only faces the different Four when she arrives to the control room in the Dauntless’ headquarters. Instead of being alone, Four is controlling the simulation under the surveillance of Jeanine and her employees who are also in the control room (this makes lot more sense since it’s a bit dumb to leave the only man who is controlling the simulation alone in a room almost unprotected).
After recognizing her, Four and Tris fight with the rest of their strengths against Jeanine and her workers. A finale packed with lots of action and instead of stopping the simulation by their own, they inject the serum in Jeanine’s neck and force her stopping her plan. After stopping the simulation, Jeanine is left alone in the room and Tris and Four accompanied by Caleb, Marcus and Peter walk the faster as they can to catch the train that will lead them to the Amity farms. Instead of watching Tris confronting Marcus about the things he has done to his own son, we watch a moment of familiarity and forgiveness while Four helps his father entering in the train.
MOVIE OR BOOK?
I think that watching the movie appears to be enough to understand the story and the most important events but the book is also enjoyable (I gave it a 3.5/5, the same as I gave to the movie) and fully packed with action. “Divergent” ends up living in the shadow of “The Hunger Games” and therefore is often compared with it but I believe that has enough potential to be a successful trilogy.