Film Review: Divergent
Laura Walkley | On 13, Apr 2014
I have a weakness for dystopian fiction and Divergent (or â€˜die virginâ€™ as the person who once asked me what I was reading thought Iâ€™d said) is near the top of my favourites list.
The first film of the Divergent trilogy written by Veronica Roth and directed by Neil Hamburger hit cinemas on Thursday. Starring Shailene Woodley, who is taking over the silver screen, the film is set in a futuristic, fenced-in Chicago where society is split into five factions. Youâ€™re either brave, honest, smart, selfless or kind- but what happens if you conform to more than one personality trait? Youâ€™re divergent and apparently a threat to the foundation of society.
The complicated themes are successfully portrayed (but slightly crammed) into the first half of the movie as Tris (Woodley) and her brother Caleb (Elgort) both raised as two selfless citizens of Abnegation drop their blood onto some rocks and abandon their parents to go study and jump off trains in the Erudite and Dauntless factions. Woodley and Elgort, who now in my eyes are brother and sister, are also set to co-star next to one another in the upcoming John Green novel adaption The Fault in Our Stars as lovers. Quite a incestuous juxtaposition, might I say.
While the story line maintained a fast pace and enough action, the character and relationship building was limited and many favourites from the novel were cut from the film altogether. The set and location special effects were fantastic with the actual Chicago skyline was seen rotting away and the river dried up behind the action. Overall, I give the film three stars and worth a watch if you are into Hunger Games style action or girl-on-girl fist fights.