DIVERGENT – Movie Review

Posted: April 3, 2014 in Entertainment, Movies, Reviews

If I read the book I generally see the movie, …sometimes regrettably.

The book, Divergent, is a YA book in the same vein as The Hunger Games. When I started the book I thought, “Oh, here we go again.” Teenage female heroine forced to fight against a corrupt government. However I was pleasantly surprised by the originality of Divergent, which presents a surprisingly mature examination of the theme of conformity. Also, the initiation into the exhilarating warrior class of her society, called the Dauntless, is exciting and really challenges a lot of traditional values. I enjoyed the book, although the two sequels tend to devolve into something resembling Twilight Teen Romance to a larger degree. (I’ve noticed that a lot in YA books. For example, the Mortal Instrument books start out strongly, but then shift to a more romantic theme in the later books. The Hunger Games books avoid that to a greater extent.)

The movie does a good job of following the book on a plot level, but the theme of conformity is less successfully communicated. It is there superficially, but the book, not surprisingly, does a far better job. It is not as hard hitting as it could be and as, for example, is more successfully achieved in the Catching Fire film. As I said, the plot of the film is mostly faithful to the novel, with the action scenes and those that reflect the mental fears, are well done. The acting is fair to good, – not amazing, but not distracting.

Read the book first. I would give the film a B.

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