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[Movie Review] - Divergent

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Title: Divergent
   Director: Neil Burger
   Author: Veronica Roth
   Release Date: March 21st, 2014
   Rating: 8.5 Out of 10

     In a world divided by factions based on virtues, Tris learns she's Divergent and won't fit in. When she discovers a plot to destroy Divergents, Tris and the mysterious Four must find out what makes Divergents dangerous before it's too late.

From the Book:
     In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

     During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.


      First off I loved the movie, and the reason I gave it a lower rating that what most people think I should is rather ridiculous. The interpretation of the movie was spot on, even if it was slightly different from mine. The actors got the characters and captured them spot on, for the most part (I'll dive into that later). I loved the plot, even if at times I thought the movie seemed to breeze past important events. Divergent, so far in my movie experience was a great capture from Book to Movie. I applaud Neil for that and capturing exactly what everyone was hoping for in the time he was allotted.

     The characters were beyond amazing. Shailene Woodley's presentation of Beatrice (Tris) was perfect. I don't think you could have found a better actress for this movie. Shailene is a force, a natural actor and someone every and all fans should look at and watch closely. She's going to move you, make you explode and dance in the middle of the isles. Ansel Elgort was another character that, even though you don't see a lot of, takes a character and perfects it. Ansel's vision and capture of Caleb makes the family his, and another actor I look at and want more of. Ashley Judd as Natalie (Tris's mother) was another spot on cast.

     Kate Winslet, Jeanine, was remarkable. I loved every time she showed up on the screen. She took your breath away with the character. She was brilliant and cocky, and just took the character and ran with it. She was probably the best cast person in this movie next to Shailene Woodley. Jeanine was the perfect antagonist for this book, and Kate just captured it perfect.

     Now to where I viewed the downside of the cast. Ray Stevenson as Marcus was decent. I thought he was cast right, however the role he was given was shallow. I wanted more of Marcus and to see him interact more. It was almost like he was breezed over and than "Hello, here I am again." I didn't see him play as big a role in the movie as he did in the book, and I think that'll come into play in the second movie. I hope it gets addressed.

     Theo James, now this is where I'll bite the bullet and take on the entire swooning community and say I was a bit let down with the performance. I understand that his persona of Tobias (Four) was unique and completely different from what I expected, and I enjoyed it. However, I really only saw this hard side of Tobias that was cut and dry. I wanted more of this romantic, compassionate side of him that we saw in the book, and maybe there just wasn't enough time to build him as much as there was, it was just a let down.

     Plot wise the, the Movie was sound. I loved how Neil stays almost on the nose with the book. There are a few scenes that were cut out, my assumption is that gouging an eye out with a spoon/knife wouldn't have given you the rating you were after. Which I understand why they were removed. The scene with Al was great, I just wish they would have played on it a little longer a good minute or two more. It didn't have that "Wow" factor for me, like the book captured it.

     The love/relationship between Four and Tris was a bit washed. I thought there wasn't enough time to build the relationship and than just out of left field they are entangled. It was rushed and I thought with the time there would have been better places to rush and cut things (use more monologue if you wanted to rush things faster). Now I'm not saying that the relationship wasn't there, it was by the end of the movie. I just wasn't ready for it or thought it was even at that stage when things started to get heavy.

     There were so many character that seemed glossed over, that by the end of the movie I was left wondering who the heck was that? I loved the movie, it was great. I just wish Neil had petitioned for another half hour or so to tack on the end and character build so more in the early stages. When the book got underway, about halfway through, it was sound it was great. The beginning needed a little more beef to support the heavy weight and impact of the hard-hitting events of the last half.

     Nonetheless the movie was sound, and great. I can't wait to see Insurgent next year. Shailene is an actor that I'll follow and keep an eye on. She's the new girl on the block and Jennifer Lawrence should watch her back. There is another actor on the field that is threatening her stardom. Theo James and Ansel Elgort both take the cake as well, their interpretations are fantastic. So in ending I am happy to say, I am looking forward to the next movie with Shailene and Ansel in it (The Fault in our Stars). Til than, GO SEE DIVERGENT!
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