March 31, 2014

Movie Review: Divergent

Rating: PG-13
Genre: Action/Adventure
Release Date: March 21, 2014
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Book Description:

In a world where the population is divided into factions by personality types, Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley) is classified as Divergent. 

When she uncovers a conspiracy to eliminate all Divergents, she teams with the mysterious Four (Theo James) to find out what makes the powers-that-be so frightened of them. 

Kate Winslet also stars in this action thriller adapted from the novel by Veronica Roth, and directed by Neil Burger.


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Going in to see the "Divergent" movie, I had a lot of conflicting emotions. On one hand, I loved the book when I read it. Like 5 out of 5 hearts loved it, and I could see how it could be adapted to make a good movie. However, on the other hand, was Shailene Woodley. Have you guys ever just watched something and one of the actors or actresses bothered you so much that any time you see his or her face you kind of just wish you didn't? Well, after watching "The Secret Life of the American Teenager" on ABC Family, Woodley was one of those actresses for me.

So what wins out in the end: My love for this book or my hatred toward the movie's lead actress? Obviously, books > everything, so I went to see "Divergent" its opening weekend. And guys, I didn't hate it. Even with the pregnant teenager's face staring at me through most of it, I actually did enjoy the movie. Was I worried that they wouldn't do the book justice? Naturally, as that always happens when a favorite makes it to the big screen. But besides a few tweaks here and there, the movie did a decent job of following the book.
One of the biggest changes that I saw wasn't even really them changing the content or scenes of the book. The best way I could say it is that the movie is a lot less cruel than the book was. During Tris' initiation to Dauntless in the book, she goes through rigorous training that involves hand to hand combat, and the initiates pretty much beat each other bloody on a daily basis. While the movie still had some of the fighting scenes, they were definitely toned down for the screen. This could possibly be so that they could give it a PG-13 rating and not alienate their younger audience, which makes sense since this is all based on the young adult novel.

The fighting during training wasn't the only thing that was toned down. In the books, the character Peter is only about half a step above a psychopath with how vicious he was to Tris and the other initiates he felt were beneath him, but in the movie, he comes off as just a run of the mill jackass. The slight change in his character was enough to lighten the mood a bit throughout the movie, and the atmosphere isn't as dark as it was in the book.

While there weren't a lot of scene changes between page and screen, there were some scattered here and there, but that's to be expected with any adaptation. The biggest one that comes to my mind is that the ending was changed. However, there is still enough of the original source material in the scene that I wasn't mad at the change.

Did I like the book better? Yes, I did. However, that's usually the case with me (with the exception of "Fight Club" because that movie is everything). I'm a bookworm and I love reading about all of the little details that don't always make it into the big picture on the screen. I do understand that they have to nip and tuck out scenes to bring my beloved books to the big screen. I believe "Divergent" did a great job on that aspect. The Dauntless training scenes were condensed to fit the movie's time frame, but they still took all the time needed in order to tell the story without rushing themselves.



  1. I thought I was the only one who wasn't a fan of Shailene Woodley! There is something about her that I just don't like. I never watched The Secret Life either so I don't even have that to fall back on as a reason for my dislike.

    But even with my dislike of her I enjoyed the Divergent movie as well, I was actually pleasantly surprised with how everything came together.

    1. Oh, you're definitely not the only one! I was really glad too with how well it was done. It's always good to not be disappointed by an adaptation :)


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