Divergent | TeenInk

Divergent

April 25, 2014
By Maya Patra BRONZE, Bangalore, Other
Maya Patra BRONZE, Bangalore, Other
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Divergent Review:
So we’ve all had our fill of blockbuster movies, based on teen fiction novels, from The Twilight Saga to The Hunger Games to Harry Potter to The Narnia Chronicles. I’m pretty sure we’re all a little tired of movies adapted from books, and they’re all starting to seem the same, plot wise, character wise, climax wise. Not Divergent. For those of you who haven’t read the book, Divergent is the first in a trilogy by first time author, Veronica Roth.
Before I go on about the movie here’s a little background info:
Divergent is set in a future Chicago that has been ravaged by war and is the last safe havens from the unknown dangers outside the fence protecting them from who knows what. To retain peace and harmony among the people, they are divided into five groups, also known as factions: Dauntless, Amity, Erudite, Abnegation and Candor. Now we come to Beatrice Prior. Beatrice lives in Abnegation with her family, and the time is fast approaching when she has to choose her faction. All would be fine but Beatrice finds out that she is special, she doesn’t fit into any category, because she has an aptitude for everything. She is Divergent. She can’t be controlled. Tris, knowing that if anyone discovers her true nature, she will be killed, tries to lie low, but then discovers a secret that unravels the seemingly perfect government system forever.
Many say that Divergent is extremely similar to The Hunger Games, both with fast paced, direct writing, strong female leads, fighting and violence, and a malevolent, manipulating government. The main characters, Tris and Katniss aren’t all that likable (they’re sarcastic, stubborn, and un-sentimental) at first, and neither of them plays your typical female role. Both are struggling to find themselves and are constantly wondering whether to do the “right thing”, or just do what they want to do and let everybody else deal with it.
But for all the similarities, both the novels and the books are completely different. Divergent is something entirely new. The recently released movie is my favourite kind of movie. First of all, the special effects are spectacular. There are lots of scenes where lots of special effects have to be applied to convey the panic and fear Tris is feeling: the scene when she zip lines from the top of a high rise building, the part where she gets attacked by a giant flock of vicious ravens, etc., etc. The special effects aren’t too over the top, but they still convey the whole feeling of a dystopian, conflicting future, am alien new era. I don’t want to use a cliché, but the movie really does transform you to a whole new world, it really does draw you in, immerse you, so that when the movie’s over and the lights flicker back on, you blink a couple of times and try to process everything and think, “Wow, that was so real, it was like I was actually there!”
There were many action packed scenes that were really well filmed, to capture the riskiness of the moment, like the part where Tris is running frantically beside a train and manages to slip inside just before the flyover abruptly ends. I also really loved the filming of the very beginning of the movie, where they do a sort of panorama of the scenery of the remains of Chicago. The ruins of a ship in a deserted wasteland, the crumbling skyscrapers once majestic and mighty, and the rundown houses all contribute to the feeling of disintegration and decay. Another scene that was filmed really well was the one where the five factions, all colour coded, line up in front of the audience hall. This scene is filmed with an aerial view and so we get to see the diversity of the factions: the happy laughing Amity in bright reds and yellows, the Dauntless, unpredictable, clothed in black, the meek Abnegation clad in sombre greys.
Another reason why I usually think that books are always better than their movie counterparts is because books are so much more detailed and elaborated. In books you know what the character is feeling, what they’re thinking, but in movies it’s up to you to imagine it. When you read the book, you can visualize the action however you want, twisting the events to your liking, but with the movie, there’s nothing you can change, so if something doesn’t turn out the way you hoped, it’s a huge let-down. For me, the Divergent movie was just as good, if not better than the book. Shailene Woodley’s (actress playing Tris), mobile, expressive face, displays all Tris’s conflicted emotions. Even the smaller characters, like Christina (Tris’s best friend) are casted so well, that once you’ve seen the movie, you can’t imagine anyone else in their role. The movie has all the ingredients to balance it out and keep it from becoming one track: family scenes, fighting, suspense, romance, “deep” conversations and amazing scenery and stunts too.
Another cool thing about the movie is the major character development of Tris. Even if you haven’t read the book and have no idea whatsoever what’s going to happen, it’s really simple to understand the main characters motives and goals and why Tris does what she does. We get to relate with Tris on so many levels: her problems with her family, her feelings about her instructor/boyfriend Four, played by new face, Theo James, her opinion on the system of government, everything.
One criticism I would have is that in the movie, right from the beginning, Tris is portrayed as a warrior and as a leader, but in the book she starts off as the small, weak, helpless girl from Abnegation and works her way up to the top. Tris isn’t a hero. Another thing I would have liked in the movie, is more songs because there was hardly any music throughout the entire 2 hours, 20 minutes, and it needed something extra to relieve the monotony.

So, in conclusion, to any fans out there, pining away for Katniss Everdeen and waiting for mocking jay to come out, go see Divergent in the meantime. It’s the next big thing.


The author's comments:
I have always loved YA fiction and was looking for the next big thing after The Hunger Games. One of my friends suggested this book to me and I was hooked. The book was amazing and when I saw the movie, I was equally captured by how unique it was, compared to all the other teen movies adapted from novels. I hope you all read this review and immediately rush to the movie theater!

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This article has 7 comments.


on May. 19 2015 at 12:08 pm
Lysander PLATINUM, Bangalore, Other
40 articles 0 photos 87 comments

Favorite Quote:
I slay.

yeah .....though it was a disgusting thing..it lead to Edward becoming one of Evelyn's most important factionless soldiers.....and dey issed out as usual....sad

on May. 19 2015 at 12:06 pm
Lysander PLATINUM, Bangalore, Other
40 articles 0 photos 87 comments

Favorite Quote:
I slay.

oh yes ...The movie lost out on soo many parts so naturally d movie didn't hav d charm of d series.........And Shailene is sum 21 or 22....Tris is supposed to be sixteen

LoloG SILVER said...
on Mar. 12 2015 at 9:54 pm
LoloG SILVER, Highlands Ranch, Colorado
9 articles 0 photos 13 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Becoming fearless isn't the point. That's impossible. It's learning how to control your fear, and to be free from it." -Veronica Roth

I agree that Veronica Roth has that talent of hooking readers. I love the series, but I think they skip too many important parts. I mean, they did skip the part where Peter stabbed Edward in the eye... Anyone else agree?>

on Jan. 18 2015 at 10:27 am
SophieFloph PLATINUM, Seattle, Washington
21 articles 3 photos 37 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Her stomach did a revengeful flop."

I don't want to seem insensitive, but I actually really didn't like the series, especially Allegiant (loved the end though). But since I didn't like Divergent and I read the other two books, I must say Veronica Roth has a talent to sucking readers in and never letting them go until the series is over.

on Jan. 8 2015 at 3:48 pm
Funkyman BRONZE, Waco, Texas
3 articles 0 photos 14 comments
I love this series I got it for X-mas.

Kamala T said...
on May. 3 2014 at 12:22 pm
Thanks! That's an excellent, well-written review. I think I will take in Divergent after this. I usually hate the movie adaptation of most books, but this one sounds promising. 

Laura H said...
on May. 3 2014 at 11:45 am
A very well written review. I especially liked the "malevolent, malignant" government line. Made me want to see the movie.