Movie Review: Divergent

Divergent-movie-poster-4After reading Divergent I was really excited to see the movie because the story seemed perfect for a film adaptation. I’m sad to say, however, that they really missed the boat on this one. So many aspects of the book were left underdeveloped that the movie ended up a shallow, formulaic adaptation of a solid young adult novel.

Problem number one for me was that the whole movie felt rushed. Instead of cutting some subplots out in order to do justice to the overall story, the makers tried to cram in every single thing that happened in the whole book. Unfortunately this left a story line that, while inclusive of all plot points, felt disjointed. The jump from climax to climax also left no time for character development. In the end we are left with a list of events that read like bullet points, executed by characters with no time to do anything but jump on trains and punch each other in the face.

Some more minor problems I had with it were:

1) Shailene Woodley was OBVIOUSLY wearing makeup!  I know we all know that actors are always wearing makeup, but they could have made it a little more subtle.  If her original faction won’t even look in a mirror, I”m pretty sure they’re not going around caking on the mascara.

2) They neglected to kill several of the people who were killed and/or severely hurt early on in the book.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not just itching for more blood and gore in entertainment.  It’s just that when you omit all these deaths, you lower the stakes of the whole story.  You change fundamentally the world in which the characters are living, and I just don’t like that.

This movie was a missed opportunity.  I’d definitely still recommend the books though!

Kat

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2 thoughts on “Movie Review: Divergent

  1. I am probably in the minority and this usually isn’t the case for book-to-movie adaptations but I have to say that I actually liked the movie better. I wasn’t a big fan of the book. I feel as though the author didn’t put a lot of thought into the world she created and was basically trying to make Hunger Games 2.0. I liked how in the movies they didn’t make the love story quite as cheesy and in your face. The book killed me with that. All this destruction was going on, but Tris and Four just had to randomly stop for make out sessions. It made no sense to me. The movie was definitely not a masterpiece but I at least found it entertaining.

  2. Good analysis, Kat! I’ll be interested to get your take on The Giver–another dystopian young adult film. One of my favorites.

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