Sunday, April 20, 2014

Divergent: A Review

Directed By: Neil Burger
Written By: Vanessa Taylor, Evan Daugherty
Rated: PG 13
Time: 139 min
Starring: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Ashley Judd, Jai Courtney, Ray Stevenson, Zoё Kravitz, Miles Teller, Tony Goldwyn, Ansel Elgort, Maggie Q, Mekhi Phifer, Kate Winslet
Plot: Set in a futuristic dystopia where society is divided into five factions that each represent a different virtue, teenagers have to decide if they want to stay in their faction or switch to another - for the rest of their lives. Tris Prior makes a choice that surprises everyone. Then Tris and her fellow faction-members have to live through a highly competitive initiation process to live out the choice they have made. They must undergo extreme physical and intense psychological tests, that transform them all. But Tris has a secret that she is Divergent, which means she doesn't fit into any one group. If anyone knew, it would mean a certain death. As she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, this secret might help her save the people she loves... or it might destroy her.

Comments: I was not really looking forward to this movie. But E really wanted to go, surprisingly really since he chided me for days on dragging him to the first Hunger Games movie which I couldn’t blame him for as it was bad, bad, bad ( Catching Fire was however done right). So here comes another trilogy that I really liked. All I can think when I see the trailers during every single close up shot is there is no way Tris would wear that much mascara when she was still part of Abnegation. I couldn’t believe her as Tris. Couldn’t get into the character. But I am glad that E dragged me to it (I would have rather seen Need for Speed…that was how reluctant I was).

Shailene Woodley as Tris was still not a perfect fit for me. In the book Tris is constantly described as being this tiny little thing. That is why people constantly underestimate her. Christina is kind of a protector, but Zoe Kravitz is far smaller than Shailene. It doesn’t matter in the end because Shailene does a decent job as Tris. And in fact, the movie overall stayed pretty close to the book. There are changes, as there always are and it was really only two things that bugged me Christina not getting the flag which is kind of important since it shows that sometimes being selfless will get you nowhere and shows that Christina has a bit of a competitive streak.

While the film is pretty heavy on the exposition and like I said I know they had to change some things and others will be inevitably changed, I did like the extra Jeanine stuff. She has more of a role than Jeanine in the book and I am okay with it because, well…its Kate Winslet and I heart her to pieces. But I also get a bigger sense of Jeanine. She truly believes she is doing the right thing for her society no matter what the cost. She had complexity and while, yes, still a villain, I liked her.

And of course Four. That is the Four I wanted. It’s the Four I fell in love with for two books and then sort of fell out of love with in the last book, but that is a whole other story. He doesn’t want to save Tris, he knows she is quite capable and that is why he loves her. He loves that she is selfless as much as she is brave. They are equals and partners and that is a love I can completely get behind.

It was a pretty film to watch and I kind of dug the fear landscape scenes. I really loved the Soundtrack and score. The score is a collaboration of Hans Zimmer and his mighty orchestrals of awesome and Junkie XL. It didn’t detract, it was just really good and quickly bought shortly after.

My biggest gripe, by far, was Peter. Instead of being pure evil (to be honest I don’t really recall seeing Edward and there is certainly no eye stabbing scene which is important…it shows just to what lengths Peter is willing to go to not only to be number one, but to be the next Eric. Plus hello Edward becomes Factionless and they meet up with him later), he’s just a jerk. Okay maybe a jerk who tries to throw Tris over a ledge with his sycophants, but mostly just a jerk. A jerk that tags along in the end. Umm, not the spawn of Satan. This was extremely disappointing as it kind of has a big deal with his overall character development between the 3 books.

Overall it was a decent film and one that I am glad that I saw in the theatre. Best line:
Peter: “Why should I tell you, it’s not like you’re going to shoot me.”
Tris: “Why do people keep saying that?”
* shoots him *

Rent/Cinema?See it.

3/4 popcorns

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