|Don't be off-put by that cliché heroine butt pose|
Divergent will hit theaters this week tomorrow, 20th of March, but I got to see the early premiere yesterday, and I'll tell you what: Watch it, but just suspend your disbelief as you do.
If you're like me, and are on a Harry Potter or Hunger Games withdrawal, you were intrigued by the premise of the Divergent books: A dystopian society which is divided into 5 factions based on virtues that the members are meant to uphold to the tee. Don't ask why more people can't be both brave and intelligent or peaceful and honest. Just dispel all cynicism and stop being so Erudite- like, y'all.
Here's a helpful infographic, which explains a bit about factions.
So there's teenage Tris (played by Shailene Woodley in the movie) who doesn't feel like she fits in her current faction, but that's okay because she's now sixteen and can do a test to show where she belongs, like the Sorting Hat, but obviously a lot less accurate since Tris finds out she’s Dauntless, Erudite and Agnation, which makes her – gasp – Divergent. Thun thun thun.
Tris chooses the house – ahem– faction to belong to, leaving her boring faction (and family) behind, and chooses Dauntless, the daring district – ahem– faction who jumps from moving trains and climbs stuff a lot because it's like super cool. *rolls eyes*
But soon she realizes that being Divergent basically means she can't be made to conform, which the evil guys, who want to overthrow the government, are not too pleased about.
Anyway, there a lot of train-jumping, fight scenes, zip-lining, and psychological simulation scenes, which basically make 85% of the movie an initiation. It's fun and all, and there were some great scenes here and there, but the plot doesn't allow for much character development and I was left feeling like the characters were one dimensional.
Shailene Woodley was fantastic in her role as Tris, and her performance made her endearing and relatable, leaving no doubt that she's the new YA franchise girl-to-watch, with another upcoming role in YA bestseller, The Fault in Our Stars, releasing this year.
Theo James, who plays her love interest, Four, was bland and wooden in comparison. Not exactly swoon-worthy.
I found it hardly believable that Tris’s mother played by Ashley Judd would be Abnegation (Selfless) when her face was so distractingly botoxed up.
Kate Winslet basically plays a female President Snow.
Miles Teller, who is another Hollywood up-and-comer, is my favorite and plays the antagonist, a very Draco-ish role of Peter (boring name, much?) Hopefully, he gets more screen-time in Allegiant, the 2nd movie in the franchise.
Moving on, my issue was mainly with the story-line, which really comes down to the book: this society is completely implausible. I’m not convinced that there is a way society could get to this point, because the details are so minimal and poorly thought out. I mean, this isn't just some fantasy world, this is supposed to be future Chicago. The careers that factions are assigned are completely bogus. We can believe The Hunger Games is possible, because people would totally watch a reality show where people fight to the death. If you put that on TV right now, thousands, I’m sure, would watch it. I just find it really hard to believe in the dystopian society of Veronica Roth’s.
One, why are the Dauntless so ridiculous? One thinks that a dystopian society would care about their military. So why are the Dauntless, the only source of soldiers, completely undisciplined jackasses and feel the need to get tatted up and jump off trains?
Second, how exactly is everyone in this world NOT 'Divergent'? They have an option to switch factions after being raised in one; so basically it's okay to internalize the principles of more than one of them. How will that not make them 'Divergent'? Seeing as things like selflessness and kindness go hand in hand, wouldn't people be divergent for Abnegation and Amity. And if they want to discourage people having multiple functions, why the hell are people allowed to change factions at all? Because if you’re raised one way and then learn a whole new way, aren't you, in fact, becoming divergent by straddling the two? It’s not like suddenly people forget everything, Christina still has her Candor traits even though she’s in Dauntless.
Also finally, the movie (and book) doesn't really go into much depth describing some important things. In the movie, Candor and Amity are barely mentioned; I guess they're the Hufflepuffs of Divergent.
Most importantly, the books and the movies just breeze past the important stuff like deaths. In Harry Potter, the death of an owl has you weeping for days, in Divergent, Tris watches her parents and close friend get shot in front of her and it’s like eh, time to move on, easy come, easy go.
So why watch Divergent, when there are so many inconsistencies? Because it’s fun and it’s entertaining enough, plus if you get super into YA franchises like a massive nerd, this movie is for you!
If you're a fan or if you're going for the movie, let me know in the comments below, or on Facebook or Twitter!