Movie Review : Divergent

Friday, April 04, 2014

Title : Divergent
Director : Neil Burger
Writers : Evan Daugherty (Screenplay), Vanessa Taylor (Screenplay), Veronica Roth (Based on the novel by)

Genre : Action / Adventure / Sci-Fi / Dystopian
Published Date : March 21st 2014

Stars : Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Kate Winslet
Length : 139 mins

From IMDB :
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.

Review

You do know the hype surrounding the release of Divergent movie, right? You know what it's like? It. Was. Crazy.

I've actually watched a few days after its premiere, and just getting the ticket feels like I'm playing The Hunger Games or something. But luckily, I got some advantages because my school got out early and all.

Anyway, I admit I must praised Lionsgate for making yet another fantabulous adaptation from a YA novel. After its remarkable success with Catching Fire, Divergent was their other huge success.
Sure maybe their opening wasn't as big as the *choughcheesychough* Twilight, but as the reader of the book, I gotta say I'm very satisfied with the portrayal.

"What Makes You Different, Makes You Dangerous"
—Divergent

Shailene Woodley, I think, was a perfect fit for Tris. She totally nailed that kickass-and-tough-but-not-heartless look that Tris had. She still lacked Tris's expressions though, but I think her acting skill kind of make up for that.
When she was acting with Miles Teller in The Spectacular Now—that apparently played as Peter here—I actually doubted her as Tris. I mean, okay, she looks great with her role and she looks so sweet and innocent and naive there. But the way she transformed into something else completely here is just, wow. And on top of that, I love what she has done to her body too, making it believably muscular and all.

Theo James as our Four, when I first looked at him at the trailer, was not really what I had expected to be Four. But seeing him live in the film, his acting and his expression really pull it off. Plus, he is just ohmygodnesssoooohandsome. Me and my friends were literally fangirling right there at the cinema when they do the close-up shot of him. And when he hugged Tris and say something along the line of "You'll be okay", we're like "We want to be hugged to pleaseee?"


But despite his handsomeness that has fooled quite a bit of me, I think he was a little bit too old to play Four. I mean, come on, Four was like, what? 17? 19? He totally looked like he's in his late twenties though. And he really is, in the real life. But when his real age leaked to the movie, it was well, unconvincing.

And Jai Courtney who played Eric also did a great and super believable job. Completed with his looks, he actually made me want to just go to the front of the cinema and kick him in his face and mutilate him whenever he talk.
Unfortunately, casting Miles Teller as Peter was not really my taste. I feel like he doesn't have the cocky and arrogant air that Peter had, and he seemed more like a loser who tried so hard to fish for attention, with his made-up smug looks and all. Not a natural center-of-attention-slash-asshole like Peter.

Moving to the story line, I think the crew had done a great job on the cutting of the plot that it wasn't too long and boring, but still had its essential. And on top of that, it was so similar to the book too. (And who doesn't love that, honestly?)
The portrayal of the dystopian Chicago was also very real, as well as the trademark Ferris Wheel, and that Abnegation quarter that's as believably dull as I imagine.
On the other hand, though, I think the Dauntless' trains are a little bit too polished, and their quarter on the contrary a little bit too rough and barren.
And there's Christina's trademark railing scene, but unfortunately, that scene was so short it lose its deathly tension to me, and I barely blink when I watched it, whereas in the book, I really maybe gnawing on my nail because it's really intense.

But there's also something that I surprisingly like it more here than on the books, which is : the Dauntless' life.
In the book, they're like this nonsensical, adrenaline-junkie. But in the film, we get to see just how they lead their life. And man, does it looks so fun and make the whole reason of why Tris joined them became clear and acceptable.

Overall, I think Divergent is such a satisfying film. Do I enjoy it? Absolutely. Was it the most perfect movie? Of course not.
It might not be the most amazing adaptation ever made, but at least it's pretty good for its book reader and that's quite an achievement.
And I think that this film will appeal to a lot of people, even if you're a non-reader. So go grab your purse and please go to the cinema right now, ‘cause you won't regret trying this.

Cheers, x
NK

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6 comments

  1. I was really impressed with Tris too - I thought she was going to make or break the movie and she did really well!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

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    Replies
    1. That's true! This movie really depends on her, and thankfully she managed to do it! :D

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  2. I haven't seen the movie yet -- hoping to drag my husband to see it in the next week or so :) -- but I'm so excited that pretty much everyone has found it to be a pretty solid adaptation. Glad you enjoyed it!

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    Replies
    1. Yay! Hope you'll enjoy it! I think it's one of the best adaptation I've ever watched! (And read) beside THG and Catching Fire and HP! :D

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  3. I haven't gotten a chance to see this yet, but I will be with my husband at some point. Great review! And yes, I think Theo James is a little older, but I loved him for the part and he is rather nice on the eyes. ;)

    Tressa @ Tressa's Wishful Endings

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    Replies
    1. Definitely REALLY nice on the eye :D

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