Within the last decade, the Young Adult genre has skyrocketed in irrepressible popularity. It seems that with this increasing regard, film companies have grasped at the opportunity to impress the YA fan club, in hopes of making the next hit blockbuster. Many have tried to replicate the success of such franchises as Twilight and The Hunger Games, but only a handful have succeeded. The movie adaptation of Veronica Roth’s worldwide bestselling book Divergent, has seemingly played its cards right and won the hearts of moviegoers everywhere.
Shailene Woodley stars as Beatrice Prior or ‘Tris’, a girl living in the puritan-like Abnegation, one of the five factions in an enclosed dystopian society, that was once known as the city of Chicago. The other factions are: Amity (the peaceful), Candor (the honest), Erudite (the intelligent) and Dauntless (the brave). Tris, like all others her age, must choose a faction to live in upon taking a simulation test that determines which faction she is best suited for. As the title of the movie suggests, Tris is divergent; a rare and forbidden category which means she has more than one quality. Shailene Woodley who has starred in other critically acclaimed movies such as The Descendants and The Spectacular Now (also available in Blu-ray), shines as our protagonist with her dexterous acting, compelling the viewer into empathizing with Tris. In keeping her divergent results a secret, Tris chooses Dauntless, a true testament of her courageous and willful personality. Woodley makes any Tris fanatic proud by establishing Tris as a relatable protagonist, one who may appear to be modest and vulnerable, but when put to the test, emerges as someone we all yearn to be–daring, spirited and heroic.
This two hour and twenty minute film is thrilling as it jumps from one action-packed scene to the next. Fans of the book will undoubtedly be pleased to see such coveted scenes included such as the choosing ceremony, jumping aboard speeding trains, the grueling training sessions, as well as a fan favorite— the Ferris wheel scene. Like many other popular YA books such as The Hunger Games, Divergent contains a corrupt government which may seem redundant, yet it contains its originality by including a variety of skillful actors. Kate Winslet, who plays the eerie and calculating Erudite leader Jeanine Matthews, does her best in portraying the despised antagonist. Theo James, considered already to be a rising star, captures the hearts of millions of girls by playing a brilliant portrayal of Four, the mysterious training instructor and Tris’ love interest. Divergent serves its purpose with an accurate plot that many other YA book to movie adaptations fail to accomplish, as well as a spectacular acting ensemble that truly reflects the characters they portrayed. With Insurgent and Allegiant green lit and already in the works, Divergent has set the bar even higher to not only its sequels, but as well as to other aspiring book- to- movie adaptations. Hollywood: take note.
Comments from Niles Teens
“I loved the movie! It was pretty accurate with the way the book went. Four was definitely hotter than I ever could’ve imagined! Must see!” -Leila
“I loved it!” -Kasia
“4 was perfect. Soooooooo good and exciting.” -Anonymous
“I thought the movie was pretty good, although they did leave out some characters ,scenes and facts from the book. Like Peter stabbing Edward in the eye with a butter knife or the absence of Uriah, Zeke, Edward, Myra and Drew. I did like the cast and the capture the flag and ferris wheel scenes.” -Anonymous