(SPOILER WARNING!!! This article does contain spoilers, if you haven’t seen the movie, just see the first paragraph to be informed without spoilers!!!)
Divergent may be a typical post apocalyptic, against the establishment type of movie, but I thought the story was very intriguing and enjoyable, unfortunately, the ending was too forced and confusing for my liking!!! Rating 3.5 out of 5.
I have to say that I’ve never read the books for this Divergent trilogy written by Veronica Roth, so all this was new to me. Judging from the trailers, it looked like a another The Hunger Games wannabe. However, you can’t really judge movies by it’s trailers, and have to go see it for yourself. Which is exactly what I did, I came into this movie ignorant not knowing the true story behind this movie, and maybe that is what made this enjoyable for me, at least the first two thirds of the movie. I will start with what i liked, to the so so, to what I didn’t like.
What I like, as i mentioned before it is a typical post apocalyptic story, like The Hunger Games. You knew that something will happen that will start an against the establishment war. Though it was a typical premise, once the story got started, I was into their world and what they believe and do. I found it interesting in how this story will develop, and was enjoying it. It made me forget about The Hunger Games, and worry about Divergent. I like how they broke each faction down and showed the personality of the people in each faction and how it worked together.They really show how cool the faction Dauntless is, how humble the faction Abnegation is, and how suspect Candor can be, even though the main suspects were Erudites. Not much had been said about the Amity faction in the whole movie other than they are kind people that work in the the farmlands for food of the whole city. I liked the fact the once the kids reach an age, they can choose which faction no matter where they were family raised or what their test results say, but once they pick with their blood, they can’t go back. I can see the political metaphors in the story, kudos to the author and screenwriters for that for making people think. I give credit to the director Neil Burger, who directed one of my favorite movies, Limitless, in painting a picture of a dystopian city of Chicago. The acting I thought was pretty good. Shailene Woodley, most notably known in the movie The Descendants, acted very well for a role as Tris. This is definitely her most intense acting role yet. I believe there is a bright future for her in acting in the future, and for this role I believe she showed her true potential in what she can do. As for her supporting cast, it was developed well Zoe Kravitz and Ben Lamb playing Triss’ Dauntless trainee friends, Edward and Christina. They all played well together and developing from their old personality to their Dauntless personality. Miles Teller played his role Peter, who as usual plays the rival jerk. I don’t know why, but Teller plays the jerk role well. As for the Dauntless trainers you can tell who is the jerk drill sargent which is Eric played by Jai Courtney, and the silent leader Four, which is played by Theo James. They showed how much physical and mental anguish they have to endure in order to really become members of Dauntless and become protectors of the city. The movie portrays that very well in showing how serious being in Dauntless is. Vice versa to the Abnegation faction which shows how calm and peaceful they are. Kate Winslet playing a villain for the first time, Jeanine Matthews, I thought she played her role well as a respected leader for Erudite, but yet you feel some thing menacing about her. Later on it shows how manipulating she really is in making the peaceful faction of Abnegation look like the bad guys. Triss’ parents, played by Ashley Judd and Tony Goldwyn as Natalie and Andrew prior showed how much they were a family of love and humility they are with everyone.Also with her brother Caleb, played by Ansel Elgort, where they show they have a good relationship and had the Abnegation personality. However, he chose to be with Erudite, and how they almost changed his mind about Abnegation, but he conceded later. Not much shown is shown about the other leaders like Ray Stevenson as Marcus Eaton the leader of Abnegation and the rumors of abuse to his kids, but still a respected leader in his faction, and Mekhi Phifer as the leader of Dauntless who is respected but all we know he is part of Matthews plan of destroying Abnegation, and having Erudite run the city. Then the whole Divergent part, which Triss is among others, which explains that they share all the traits of the faction. They were seen as a threat which are immediately killed, but the movie hinted that they serve a greater purpose.
What I thought was so-so, the chemistry between Tris and Four. At first they respected each other during Dauntless training as student to trainer, but for some reason the trainer felt sorry or maybe in this case, felt an attraction to her and wants her to make it. Once he finds out she’s a Divergent, he really helps her out to survive, and develop a relationship where neither of them wants to really continue. So pretty much it is a nonsexual kind of relationship which shows a lot of tension. To me that whole romance thing is not necessary, but maybe it does in the future stories or movies, who knows. I’m just not a sucker for this romances in a middle of a action movie. You kind of knew that something was going to happen with Dauntless and Erudite. It was predictable, but maybe the movie wanted it that way by leaving clues as the movie was moving forward.
What I didn’t like, the ending when Matthews plan has come through in hypnotizing all the Dauntless soldiers with their machines that Erudites created. Of course, it doesn’t work for Divergents and they were exposed and immediately killed. The whole ending of Tris trying to stop the massacre on Abnegation seems to forced for her to succeed with all the odds against her. Yes she did have help, but so few against so many. I hated that they kidnapped Four, and tried to induce him to work for them, and it worked, but then for some reason he overcame it just when he was about to kill Triss. Lame. They succeeded in destroying their plot with the massacre on Abnegation which did give closure, but I felt rushed and bewilderment after it all happened. Let alone no time for Tris to grieve about the death of her parents. Lastly, the movie had me with many different questions. Like, how do people become Factionless and poor before the new Dauntless rule where of they don’t make the cut they are out and Factionless? Why is Dauntless working with Erudites? Was Triss mom born a Dauntless and chose to be in Abnegation? Who are driving the trains? Too many questions for me for one movie. Maybe it’s because I didn’t read the books, or I have to wait for the future movies to understand more, but I knid of hate it when movies do that.
Overall, even though the movie made me forget The Hunger Games comparison, at the end I will compare it this way. The Hunger Games took their time to really develop the story and characters, and waited till the second movie to really showed what the story is all about. Divergent started off that way, but then they decided to use the final act to really rush their main story. Big difference, and probably why The Hungers Games will be more successful, but let’s see what the sequel for Divergent is all about, and maybe it could change my tune. Who knows!!! Rating: 3.5 out of 5