First of all – this article will contain spoilers for the book/movie Divergent. It will NOT contain spoilers for Insurgent or Allegiant, the latter two books in the Divergent Trilogy.
Okay, onto Divergent the book versus Divergent the movie.
I first read Divergent in September 2013. Much like most people after The Hunger Games, I was looking for a new Young Adult dystopian series to read. I happened across Divergent and wow – I was absolutely hooked. I ended up reading all the books very fast – with Divergent being my favourite. It was right up there with The Hunger Games in my opinion.
But what about the movie? Let’s go over some of the talking points:
True To The Book?
One concern everyone has when they read a book and then there’s a movie made – is how close it will be to the book. Thankfully The Hunger Games has seemingly set a trend – and the movie Divergent is EXTREMELY close to the book.
There’s a few changes – the ending goes slightly different for example – but it generally sticks very true to the book. Most of the major scenes are in it and they did a great job. One thing I was curious about was the amount of man on woman violence in the book and how they would handle that in the movie – but they managed to do it in a way that worked out well – raw, brutal but not bad enough that it takes you out of the movie.
What Was The Movie Missing?
Obviously the movies can never fully replicate the books. This one clocked in at 2 hours and 20 minutes long, but there was still some things missing from it.
The one really big thing that was missing in it for me was the interaction between the Dauntless and the relationships built as they went through the testing stages. I understand that there was a lot of subtle things there that could have made the movie drag – but it would have been nice to establish some character depth there especially for the likes of Peter and Will as well as Albert killing himself. Or when Will was shot at the end by Tris – I think if you hadn’t read the book, it wouldn’t be very meaningful or that big a moment.
The relationship between Eric and Four also didn’t go much deeper than “Eric is a bit of an ass”.
So it was missing some small things that assisted in the character development of some of the secondary characters. But then they can get away with that when they have the book to cover all that.
Actors & Visualization:
To me, the highlight of Divergent was without a doubt Kate Winslet. As the biggest actress in the movie, she showed her worth big time. She made that character her own, and was able to convey just how smarmy Jeanette can be. She nailed it.
Shailene Woodley, who played Tris, was solid. It was actually interesting watching the shades of grey involving the character and the way she was shot. Sometimes she would look like nothing but a young and confused girl – other times, as a warrior. It was very wel done and summed up how the book evolved the character.
Theo James as Four was good. It’ll be interesitng to see if he is able to achieve the depth required for Four in the later movies. He had a good presense, but I couldn’t shake that “hunk vibe” that has hampered other actors of this generation. Liam Hemsworth for example was woeful in Paranoia, as it showed how out of depth he was and It’ll be interesting to see if James can step it up for the next movies.
One actor I liked was Miles Teller. With little screen time, he did a great job of conveying Peter without going overboard.
The visualizations of the movie were just epic, and the direction was great. Honestly when reading the books, sometimes I found it hard to fully picture each and every scene. The movie did a great job of painting a fantastic picture of everything.
Four and Tris:
The relationship between these two was great. It slowly built and built and although the book did it better – you could really feel the chemistry between the two. That’s crucial for this series obviously, and I was impressed with the way they grew together even though the movie missed a few moments that really nailed the relationship.
Just a minor pet peeve. The train scene near the end, where everyone is under the serum and Four is standing at the front. Tris is worried he is also under the serum(and he looked like it), and slowly made her way over to Four. She reaches out her hand – and after a second, he takes her hand to signal he is not under it.
That was one scene where I felt like it could have went on longer. Maybe 10-15 seconds of her waiting and worrying and the dramatic musical score – and just when you think he’s under – it BOOM, he grabs her hand and you give a sigh of relief.
Overall Divergent Movie Thoughts:
I loved the HELL out of this movie. I really did. The very first thing I did when I came home was pre-order the Blu-Ray. To me – there’s no higher complement you can pay a movie than that.
Of course, I’m just one person. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Had you read the book beforehand? If not – what did you think of the movie? If you did read the book – did it live up to your expectations?
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