Friday, August 8, 2014

Divergent Movie Review

While I loved the novel Divergent, I wasn't sure if I would like the movie so I decided to wait till it was on DVD. I thought it would be weird to see Theo James as Four after last seeing him as Mr. Pamuk in Downton Abbey. He is also 30 years old so considerably older than the character of Four and I didn't know if the chemistry would be awkward between Theo and Shailene Woodley (Tris). When I started watching the movie however I forgot all about my worries as both actors really seemed to fit the part and make it work.

Divergent is a fast-paced movie. Since this is the first movie and has to do the "world building", I thought the film does a decent job of giving enough information so the audience understands without bogging down the pacing. We get a quick rundown of the various factions and then things start to happen pretty quickly with Tris going through the Choosing ceremony and then becoming a Dauntless initiate. I thought the training was brutal like it is in the book and I liked the way the fear landscape was done. 

I think Shailene Woodley really does a great job as Tris and gives a believable performance of a young woman who gains confidence as well as physical strength over the course of the film. Theo James is good as Four when he is in instructor mode. He comes across as tough and badass but also decent at the core. It will be interesting to see him interact more with Marcus and then Evelyn in the later films. I also loved the performance of Ashley Judd as Tris's mom and I thought Kate Winslet was sufficiently menacing as Jeanine. 

One thing that disappointed me was the lack of character development for Tris's friends. We don't really get to know Christina, Will or Al very well and there are some secondary characters that aren't even there but seemed important in the books. I was mostly disappointed that there was less impact with certain events because the audience isn't allowed to connect with some of the characters the way readers can with the books. Also Peter seems like your average school bully in the film and less like the calculating enemy he is portrayed as in the book.

Overall I really liked the movie. It wasn't as good as The Hunger Games but it was a much better adaptation than I had expected and I definitely plan to watch Insurgent. I hope the secondary characters will be more developed even as new ones are added to the cast.

Did you watch the movie? What did you think of it?


  1. Great review! I just watched it last night and I kept looking at Four saying to myself, hmmm…I know him. How do I know him. Haha. He was totally Mr. Pamuk! WOW! My mind was blown in that regard. While I thought Divergent was entertaining, it wasn't my favorite movie by any means. I thought Woodley did a good job however. It was so weird to see her brother who is going to be Augustus in The Fault in Our Stars! Anyway, some parts were disappointing for me, but I will definitely see the next movie.

  2. I liked this movie but haven't read the books- I am thinking of reading them at some point though. I thought Shailene Woodley and Ashley Judd were both good in it too, and Theo James as well. I'm curious about all the stuff they left out though, I really should read these before the next one probably...

  3. Totally agree with your thoughts on the movie although I didn't have the same concerns with Four as I couldn't for the life of me work out what else I'd seen Theo in. Mr Pamuk, thanks for the heads up haha. You're right about not getting the same time for character development as you do in the book (for Tris's friends) but still one of the better book to movie adaptations of late.

  4. I need to see this - loved the book and the series :)

  5. I was a bit disappointed with the secondary characters too, they needed a bit more screen time to develop. I wasn't 100% sold on the romance, but I still enjoyed the film and felt like it was actually a good adaptation (compared to some nightmarish YA-to-film adaptations)...

    Hopefully the next movie will be good (and possibly better) too!

    Nice movie review :)


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