“Divergent… Anything But” (Divergent)

Now, it was Friday night, and I was bored. My sister, being an avid YA fan, was desperate to see the movie adaption of Divergent. I have to say, I wasn’t objected. I was pretty interested, and it seemed like a cool looking movie. I would rather be watching Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but I saw no reason to not watch Divergent, so I went along.

Divergent (Wallpaper)
A wallpaper version of the poster for Divergent

Beatrice “Tris” Prior lives in a post apocalyptic Chicago, where all of the citizens fit into five different factions. Abnegation, the selfless, Erudite, the intelligent, Amity, the peaceful, Candor, the honest, and Dauntless, the brave. When Tris is tested at age 16, the test cannot discover a single faction for her. She is known as a Divergent. When Erudite (the smart people) hatch a plan to take over Chicago, Tris is the only one who can stop them.

If you’re expecting something different or groundbreaking from Divergent, then you’ll be disappointed. Divergent pretty much adheres to the basic YA formula. I however, was expecting something, anything to be different from this movie in the ever expanding YA adaption scene. I just expected more. The plot moved at a snail’s pace, and the whole meat of the movie, divergents, and the five factions weren’t really fleshed out enough for my liking.

Why in a dystopia movie is it that humanity must be saved by the blonde haired white girl, when the world is under attack by all of the smart adults? Why is it that the teenage male lead has to have a muscular chest and be an athletic rock? Why is it that the two of them seem to have to be madly in love? Why are the farmers running all of the five factions? Why don’t they have some sort of central government, that has representatives from each faction? Who is driving those trains?

Water Box (Divergent)
Tris, trapped in a box filling with water.

Even after all of that criticism, (of which some is directed at the YA genre itself), I have to say that the action was pretty good. The dream sequences were really the keystone of the movie, and in my opinion, the overall highlight. All of the actors were good in their roles, though the dialogue was, in just a few places, a bit awkward. Divergent was a fun and interesting escape, and it kept me busy for it’s (maybe too long?) running time.

I just find it a bit ironic that the movie telling all of today’s youth to stand out and be different wasn’t any of it’s own message, and was really just pretty damn average. 5 out of 10.

Divergent is everything that the fans of the book will want. Action packed, metaphorical, true to the source material, well acted, interesting, and just plain fun. But, newcomers (myself included), may not embrace the movie like the fans will, and will have trouble seeing what all the fuss is about.

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