Divergent is based on the young adult novel of the same name. It’s the first of the series that sets the scene and many of the main characters. The setting is interesting, taking place hundreds of years in the future after a huge war in broken down Chicago. No one knows what is beyond the fields surrounding the city where food is grown and leaders have erected an enormous fence in order to keep something out. Because this movie script fails to fully explain what or who is outside of the fence, it kind of loses potency as a mystery. In this new world, people are divided up into five different factions that separate them by their personality traits. If a person fails in his or her faction then that person is kicked out of the day-to-day society and are faction-less, in turn, becoming an equivalent of what we today would consider a homeless person living on the streets. The main character, a young girl named Beatrice “Tris,” monologues that she is terrified to leave her parents but is also terrified to not leave them. To become an adult, she has to take a test with hallucinations that tell her what faction she will be in. When her test reveals that she has the ability to be in all the groups; i.e. she is “divergent;” she learns that the government doesn’t want her around, because they can’t control her (and others like her) with the faction system. This movie screams “young adult novel” from the themes of finding yourself and fitting in in classes and with people. I would have enjoyed more information about the world and less about Tris’ teenage drama and her love for her teacher. I also thought that the relationship between Tris (Shailene Woodley) and Four (Theo James) was a little off. Tris looks to be around the age of 16 or something and Four looks 30. It was just a little weird, and I felt that the casting directors could have found a younger-looking actor for that role. The dialogue between characters is really dry and the action scenes are pretty tame. Having not read that books, I feel like there was too much information to put into a two hour movie. I would recommend just reading the book instead of spending the hour or two to go to see the movie adaptation. If you’re a fan of the book series, I would suggest renting it later or just reading the book again, it probably makes more sense.
Kyle Dowling is an employee of M3 Group and is pursuing a writing degree at LCC. He enjoys fiction writing, video games and movies.