I had the privilege to see the movie “Divergent” last week. When I first heard of the series, I was skeptical. Being a big fan of “The Hunger Games” franchise (both books and movies) I believed “Divergent” was going to be a huge rip off from that.
Nothing could be further from the truth! Both series do feature a strong female lead and a post war America, but beyond that, they are quite different. Before I go any further, I should warn you there may be some spoilers throughout this review.
The film starts with a narrative explanation of what we are seeing on screen. Not my favorite way to start, but I could tell it was a useful device for this story. Our heroine, Beatrice, is shown living in her faction of Abnegation which consist of those doing for others and living simply. The story opens on the day she will be tested to see which of the 5 factions (the others are Candor, Erudite, Amity and Dauntless) she should live in for the rest of her life.
As the testing goes on, it becomes apparent that Beatrice does not fall into any one faction, she falls into all of them. They call this Divergent. Beatrice is told to keep her results private and choose a faction at the choosing ceremony the next day.
Shocking all those around her, Beatrice chooses the faction of Dauntless. This faction is responsible for the security of the whole city and is a bit wild and reckless; and has been a source of fascination for Beatrice since she was young. At the initiation into Dauntless, Beatrice chooses a new name…Tris.
The story unfolds from there. Political intrigue, control, power, secrets, lies and corruption all converge to create one of the most interesting stories I have seen in a long time. This movie kept me engaged throughout and even took turns that I didn’t quite see coming.
While I have not read the book yet (and as I am writing this it is sitting next to me) my son has. He assures me that there are only minor adjustments to the story and only one major change made. So for fans of the book, don’t despair having it turned into a movie! If you have not read the book, you are in for a good movie.
No, it probably won’t win any Oscars and it isn’t the “best film ever”, but it is a good story with decent acting and pretty good script. Overall, the visuals of the film are pretty bad ass and only help to enhance the story. The zip line sequence was hard for me to watch with my fear of heights!
Younger kids should avoid the film. Not because of language, or even violence, but because the themes are pretty adult and they would be easily bored. It’s rated PG-13 and rightly so. It is a longer movie at 2:20, yet it did not feel long at all. The is one film worth seeing on the big screen! I give it 3 out of 5 magnifying glasses.