‘Divergent’ Movie Review – Dystopian Greatness
In the vein of The Hunger Games, Divergent is another movie based on a young adult series of books taking place in a dystopian world. In this one we meet Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley), a sixteen-year-old girl living in a world where people are divided into five distinct factions based on human virtues. As the movie begins, we learn that Tris has reached the age to take her aptitude test, which will tell her which faction she is best suited for. That’s when Tris finds out that she is what they call Divergent, someone who doesn’t fit in one single faction, but is warned to never tell anyone about this.
On Choosing Day, Tris picks a faction and as she settles in her new environment, she meets the mysterious Four (Theo James), her instructor, whom she soon develops an affinity for. She also uncovers a conspiracy by a faction leader (Kate Winslet) to destroy all Divergents which leads her to discoveries and alliances she didn’t expect.
I’ve read the novel by Veronica Roth the movie is based on, and while I really loved the book, I wasn’t sure how well they would be able to translate it on screen. Well to my pleasant surprise, I ended up loving the movie even more than the book and as you can probably guess, that rarely happens. And while not everyone might feel the same way I did, there is no doubt that Divergent does a really great job at adapting the book to screen. And for those without prior knowledge of the book, I think the movie can be as enjoyable.
The story itself is where the movie already wins because the concept and structure is quite captivating and imaginative. While I don’t want to give away too much of the plot, similar to The Hunger Games, it’s easy to root for Tris and her predicament. And by the end of it, you’ll be ready for the second movie (did I mention it’s a trilogy?).
A lot of the success of the film rests on the shoulders of Shailene Woodley, as she plays the protagonist, and while I was already a fan of hers, she just continues to impress. In Divergent, she brings the perfect quiet strength needed for the character, which makes you root even harder for her as the underdog. Opposite Woodley, we find Theo James, who is the ideal counterpart to her character and embodies a great Four.
The rest of the impressive cast including Ashley Judd, Zoë Kravitz, Miles Teller, Tony Goldwyn, Ansel Elgort, Maggie Q, Mekhi Phifer, and Kate Winslet, falls right into place around these two and bring the world alive in a way that is exciting and entertaining.
And the Spartacus fan in me must make a special mention of Jai Courtney (whom you might remember as Varro in Spartacus: Blood and Sand), who was a lot of fun to watch at Eric.
Overall, I absolutely loved Divergent, it really does take you on an adventure and is another great dystopian movie for you to enjoy over the weekend, but make sure to bring some tissues with you because you’re probably going to need them (I know I did!).
Divergent is out in theaters and IMAX today, March 21st. You can watch the trailer below.