Few days back Tanweer Vox Media contacted me asking me if I was willing to review the movie Divergent. They were going to provide me with a couple passes for the Premiere screening of movie in Dubai.
See the movie before everyone else??? Oh Yeah!!! 😀
So on Tuesday Mr. N and I went to the much awaited premiere of Divergent.
Divergent is based on the top selling novel by the same name by Veronica Roth. It’s a first in this trilogy. I’ve been meaning to read the book for quite some time now but couldn’t get to it earlier.
Director: Neil Burger
Writers: Evan Daugherty and Vanessa Taylor
Cast: Shailene Woodley, Kate Winslet, Theo James, Ashley Judd, Tony Goldwyn, Ray Stevenson, Mekhi Phifer, Maggie Q, Jai Courtney, Miles Teller, Zoë Kravitz, Ansel Elgort, Ben Lloyd-Hughes, Ben Lamb, Christian Madsen and Amy Newbold.
So, the story goes as,
In a distant future, Chicago is now a devastated city surrounded by electric fences which keeps the people from going out in the other destroyed part of the world. In the city the people are divided into five factions (This reminded me of the four houses in Harry Potter; but here the whole population was divided into factions instead of school kids) according to their inborn skills:
Abnegation: The selfless (devoted to helping others)
Amity: The peaceful (devoted to agriculture)
Candor: The honest (devoted to law keeping)
Dauntless: The brave (devoted to protection and law enforcement)
Erudite: The intelligent (devoted to research and education)
When the teenagers come of age they have to undergo an Aptitude Test (This reminded me of Sorting Hat ceremony in Harry Potter) which analyze their forte and determine the faction to which they belong. Although the tests show the instinctive ability of an individual, the kids were free to choose the faction they wish to enter. On Choosing day, all 16-year-olds are required to decide on the faction in which they would live for the rest of their lives.
The main character of the movie is Beatrice Prior (Shailene Woodley) or Tris as she likes to call herself later. She was born into an Abnegation family, but she always felt that she didn’t belong there. She was always intrigued by the Dauntless and wish to be one of them. When she undergoes the Aptitude test, her results were inconclusive as she showed skills for three factions: Abnegation, Erudite, and Dauntless instead of just one. Her examiner was terrified and warned her not to say anything about this to anyone. Later, Tris finds out that this makes her a Divergent: A person who shows aptitude for more than one faction and is considered dangerous by the people in power.
On Choosing day, she chose to enter the Dauntless faction much to the disappointment of her parents.
There she befriends 3 other members, has rivalry with one member (Remember Draco Malfoy?), falls in love with her instructor Four (Theo James) and trains hard to prove that she is as good as any other Dauntless.
Here I think the director put too much emphasis on Tris’ experiences during training and her living in Dauntless quarters which takes up more than half time of the movie. All the focus was given to the main character and other characters weren’t given much room. The director should have given other characters a chance to expand like Tris’ parents or the head of Erudite faction (Kate Winslet).
The other factions weren’t given much attention; very few frames were given to them which is a bit disappointing. Since I didn’t read the book I was hoping it would show how the other factions live instead of just focusing on Dauntless.
So back to the story,
Tris learns that Erudites are planning something big and her world is blown apart when she learns about it. Nope! I won’t disclose it here. You need to watch the movie to know it 😀
The running time of the movie is quite much: 139 minutes, but never even for once did it slow down or lost its pace.
I loved the crazy antics of the Dauntless. I felt the rush every time when they jumped from- and in- the moving train, across roof tops, climbed buildings or the incredible, adrenaline pumping glide on a zip-line through the city. It was spectacular!
At first the movie seems to be a collection of several young teen novels like Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, etc. But later it manages to remain in its essence and not lose its identity.
As always Kate Winslet was impeccable. When she first spoke I was taken aback. Do I detect an American accent?? I wish she hadn’t done that. I love her British accent: all refined and elegant. I missed it.
Shailene Woodley was terrific!! She looked gorgeous with no-makeup look. I was mesmerized by her. I admit I’ve never seen her act but I’m a fan now. She’s so natural playing Tris that it felt like She IS Tris!!
Theo James was the perfect candidate to play the role of Four. No other actor could have portrayed the tougher as well as softer side of him so proficiently.
The chemistry between the two (Tris and Four) looked beautiful. I could see the sparks flying! They looked so good together!
I haven’t read the Divergent novel yet but I didn’t feel lost anywhere in the movie. It was strategically and beautifully made.
The cinematography of the movie is striking!! It felt so real! The city after a catastrophe: devastated and empty. The hollow,decaying buildings, the darkness, and the abandoned fair, everything was exceptional.
The movie is all about a young girl’s decision that changed the course of her life forever. It’s about her fears, her desire to overcome them, her desire to do right by everyone even if it means harm to herself, her desire to protect those who can’t protect themselves. It’s about the sacrifices she had to make for the greater good. It’s about a girl who never gives up.
I thoroughly enjoyed and loved the movie. I was never bored as the story wasn’t predictable. This is one of those movies which makes a person (a book lover) want to go and read the book after watching it. I’m already planning on buying all the three books!! I can’t wait a year for the next installment of the movie!
All in all it’s a wonderful movie for those post-apocalyptic and dystopia fans. And also for the feminists who would love to see a brave and strong female character. And for everyone else who loves and enjoys Sci-fi.
Samareen’s Ratings : 4/5
Divergent is going to be released on March 20, 2014 across UAE. Advanced tickets are also available now. You can buy online tickets here – Voxcinemas.com
So are you planning to watch the movie? Did you read the book already? What do you expect to see when you watch it?
Do share 🙂