Directed by: Neil Burger
Screenplay by: Evan Daugherty and Vanessa Taylor
Based on the book by: Veronica Roth
Produced by: Douglas Wick, p.g.a., Lucy Fisher, p.g.a, Pouya Shahbazian
Executive Producers: John J. Kelly, Rachel Shane
Starring: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Ashley Judd, Jai Courtney, Ray Stevenson, Zoë Kravitz, Miles Teller, Tony Goldwyn, Ansel Elgort, Maggie Q, Mehki Phifer and Kate Winslet
Running Time: 140 Minutes
Rating: M (Science fiction themes and violence)
So. Last night I was lucky enough to be invited to a media screening of Divergent held in Canberra! This is really awesome because although I was also generously invited to the premier and a few showings in Sydney, I couldn’t go (I know, so boring and grown up of me to say no!)
BUT I did see it yesterday and I had so much fun and it was amazing 😀
Quick Verdict: Watch it. Love it. Then buy the soundtrack.
I was a bit afraid of how the world-building would come across in the movie: I didn’t want it to seem too silly or too simplistic. But the way the film-makers have brought the city of Chicago and idea behind each faction to life is brilliant.
I also really liked the residences of the factions. I loved the Abnegation houses, which are really stark and simplistic but also kind of … homely. I loved the little details: the floor of Tris’ house is made of bits of recycled wood. I also liked the Dauntless residence. When I read the books, I’d imagined it as very dark and wet and forbidding, but the headquarters are unexpectedly well lit and seem comfortable. The Pit is a repurposed quarry – a cut mine – and you can tell because all the holes and cuts and different levels are still there. Some kind of white reflective stone (marble?) used to be mined there, so everything was brighter than I’d expected but also intimidating.
I loved how Tris and Four are brought to life by Woodley and James. Both were brilliant in their roles, and I totally believed Woodley as Tris (James was mostly great as Four, but sometimes his parts felt a little over-acted).
Four’s tattoos!! Some amazing artwork there 🙂
I think my favourite sequence is being in Four’s fear landscape. It was amazing, so well created and emotional and awesome. I also loved Tris’ final test. Although, I feel like they should have discussed Four being in Tris’ landscape, especially HOW he turned up in her fear landscape. Sadly, like the attack on Tris by Al and the others in the book, all the characters seem to just ignore it. Which is, in my opinion, a failing, in both the movie and book respectively.View Spoiler »What I mean by this is that just like Tris got up and basically forgot that three boys had tried to sexually assault her in the book, Tris and Four apparently just go on and ignore the fact that he tried to rape her in her fear landscape. Firstly, the movie has obviously changed the way that Four scares Tris: in the book she’s afraid of the intimacy of their relationship, in the movie, she’s afraid of him forcing her. But secondly, once the movie has changed Tris’ fear landscape, thereby changing Tris herself, why wasn’t there an exploration and a dialogue about what Tris is scared of, and why? It almost belittles her fear that her boyfriend may rape her, which is horrible because people in relationships can get raped by their partners. « Hide Spoiler
One of the surprises in the movie were the action scenes. Even the scenes in The Hunger Games and Catching Fire pale in comparison to the ones in Divergent. The action is shot brilliantly: you can always see the emotions on the character’s faces and they don’t seem superhuman – you can see the impact of every hit and every hurt on their faces and in their responses.
My only disappointment with the movie is one my husband, who hasn’t read the book, shared. While the introduction and build-up to the final conflict were brilliantly handled, the actual climactic battle sequence seemed choppy. From its very beginning when the Dauntless wake up it felt off-kilter, and things only got worse once Tris went on the run with her mother. From then onwards, it felt to me like the movie was trying to show us how urgent Tris’ mission was, except that it never successfully got there because apparently Tris had time to make jokes. So, ultimately, the climax lacked urgency when it came to the acting and the dialogue, but the choppiness of the sequences suggests to me that the movie was trying hard to convince us of that very urgency.
The soundtrack for this movie is absolutely amazing. I think perfectly complimented the action 🙂 If the full score is ever released, I’ll be buy that too, but for now, I’m content with the official soundtrack.
So, in conclusion, I think the Divergent movie is not to be missed. I loved it.