By Chase Bayless ’15
“Divergent”─ starring Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Kate Winslet and Miles Teller
7.5 out of 10
Next in the long line of recent book series turned major films, “Divergent,” modelled after author Veronica Roth’s book trilogy, provides viewers with an original and exhilarating adventure.
It is set in post-apocalyptic Chicago, which is cut off from the rest of the world by a giant wall. No one seems to know what else is beyond the wall and it doesn’t give much detail as to why the world has been turned into this wasteland.
This dystopian society is divided into five factions where each person in the community fits into one of the categories, each has a particular duty essential to the success of the city.
These factions are meant to factor out people into groups such as the smart ones, the ones who work in the fields and those who serve as the city’s police and army.
At some point everyone takes a psychological test that determines what category they belong to. While in the end it is the individual’s choice as to where they go, the test is meant to tell you where you should go.
The rare few that do not into one of these categories, based off their test scores, are identified as divergents.
These somewhat legendary beings are feared by the rest of society because of their innate ability to control their own fears and are hunted by the municipalities’ leader, Jeanine Matthew, played by Kate Winslet, for this reason.
The protagonist is a teenager named Tris Prior, played by Shailene Woodley, who seems out of place in her Abnegation faction family.
After Tris’ placement test, she learns she is divergent and must hide this secret. So without an assigned faction, she decides to join Dauntless, the warriors of the city.
While this is sci-fi movie, it largely stays away from all the futuristic stuff and uses it primarily as a background to setup of the story.
“Divergent” led the box office making more than $54 million in its opening weekend and has already planned the two sequels, “Insurgent” and “Allegiant”, expected to hit theaters March 2015 and March 2016, respectively.
Although I did not read the books, I still understood the concept and it made me want to read them.
While the 140-minute long movie takes too long to develop, they make up for it with an original idea and Director Neil Burger’s screenplay.
There is really only one major action scene and it seems to drag on a bit. You think it is over at a few different parts, but it doesn’t. Overall it lacks in the amount of action you see.
There is also just the right amount of drama from beginning to end.
The acting, especially Woodley was of high-quality.
“Divergent” has gotten some lowly rated reviews from the public, but is actually a well-produced and directed movie and is worth seeing, even for those non-sci-fi fans. Just don’t go into expecting the typical young adult book turned movie sort of flick.