This review of the Divergent movie contains some spoilers but nothing too graphic or explosive to anyone that hasn’t seen it. For those that have read the book I have mentioned only a few things which I thought should have been included in the movie but were overlooked. Other than that I hope you enjoy it and feel free to leave a comment.
Reading Divergent was like a rollercoaster ride filled with continuous loops and climbs. At the end I even experienced the spiralling dizziness as I walked away from a whirlwind of excitement and adventure, topped off by resounding loss. I actually missed the book in my life. With news of the movie hitting screens in a matter of months I had that to look forward to and therefore had great expectations for the movie.
It goes without saying that the movie was very well done, enjoyable and capturing. The opening scenes of the city were so well done that it was like a projection of my imagination and a clear example of Veronica Roth’s high quality writing as each intricate detail was displayed on screen. The factions were well presented with each characteristic shining through the members. Watching Dauntless jump from the train in the choosing ceremony scene resulted in a smirk as I loved the confident, cockiness of their attitudes in the book and felt the detail was encapsulated in the movie.
A clear trademark of the movie was the camera angles which showed the sheer heights and terrifying scenes of the fear simulations. As well as that, the city and landscape were highlighted in the camera angles such as the panning on top of buildings or across the marshlands. I thought they really accentuated the setting perfectly from the book and that alone satisfied some of my expectations of the movie.
As far as characters are concerned in the movie, I feel Theo James captured Four’s personality with his stern and statuesque attitude at the start. As he begins to melt away the concrete image with Tris I believe his growth as a character was captured beautifully and was a real acknowledgement to the storyline. Shailene Woodley as Tris was an actress I wasn’t sure on but after seeing the movie I was forced to eat my own words as I thought she did a great job and enlivened the role. As for Caleb I was again a little unsure of what to expect from Ansel Elgort but I loved his interpretation of the smart and mysterious brother although it will be interesting to see how he captures Caleb in the next movie with the plot change. I believe it goes without saying that most of the characters were portrayed precisely and the images of each were close with the description in the pages, I especially loved Four’s tattoo and the detail involved. It goes without saying that I wish it was as easy to get a tattoo like that in the movie because Tris’s tattoo on the collarbone looked like a breeze for her!
When reading the book I obviously fell in love with Tris’s confidence and character and Four’s strength and longing to perfect his character. However I loved Uriah and Zeke and was quite disappointed that they didn’t make a formal appearance in the movie. I loved their relationship and the fun they brought to different parts of the book. I enjoyed the zip-line scene and as mentioned before the landscape but I did long for the introduction with Uriah as for me it was Tris’s induction and acceptance as a Dauntless even before the final test. I also genuinely missed the scenes with Edward and Molly that built tension amongst the recruits and introduced a personal reality of the factionless for readers. On that topic, the factionless seemed to be touched on very lightly in the movie which means any filmgoers won’t fully understand them when they become an important part of the second book and consequently the second movie. Even though I am mentioning these few things, they are just my thoughts and realistically not everything can be covered in the movie. It was over two hours long as it stands and I didn’t even notice because I was so engrossed in what was happening on the screen, despite having read the book!
With these changes and gaps in the movie compared to the book it is hard to predict what’s to come next time in Insurgent. I hope there will be development in characters and relationships such as Tris and Christina, Four and Marcus, or Caleb and Tris. I’m also excited to see what characters will be brought into the movie and who will be left out as well as the landscape and setting design. It’s all very exciting and the anticipation is getting to me with a year to wait until the first theatre release. I can honestly say I cannot wait to see what happens and even with having finished the entire trilogy at least I have the movie’s to look forward to.