Divergent Movie Review

By Julia DeRogatis

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By Julia DeRogatis | Editor

April 10, 2014

On March 21, 2014 Divergent surged into theaters. Based on Veronica Roth’s novel of the same name, the movie follows the story of the Abnegation-faction Tris Prior as she faces the challenges associated with following her heart and diverging from society’s norms.

While striving for a tense, edgy, and adrenaline-filled experience, the movie fell a little short, coming off as overly long and lacking the suspense and tenebrous mood befitting a fractured dystopian society.

Shailene Woodley, while a surprisingly skilled actress, was too soft and sweet to accurately portray the intense, fiery female protagonist Tris of the book. Woodley’s co-star, Theo James, stepped into the role of Four, playing him with an enigmatic moodiness that, while intriguing, was unfortunately never fully explored in the movie.

Although Woodley and James failed to completely capture the essence of their novel-counterparts, the cast as a whole, including Ansel Eglort, Kate Winslet, Jai Courtney, and Miles Teller, was actually highly skilled.

The weaknesses in the movie were mostly due to the script, which over-explained plot points and over-emphasized emotions and revelations which would have been better left as more ambiguous. The cast seemed at times constrained by their lines; the best moments were those in which the carefully structured dialogue fell away, leaving only raw emotional intensity.

Another aspect of the movie that fell just short of greatness was the relationship between Woodley and James. While at moments magnetic, it was overall inconsistent, changing quickly from seemingly antagonistic to suddenly in love.

Despite these shortcomings, Divergent still managed to be a satisfying movie. The music was powerful and exciting, and the cinematography was impressive, capturing dream-like sequences and train jumps with ease. The costuming, including Four’s and Eric’s extensive tattooing, was accurate and believable. Anyone who is a fan of the novel or of eerie dystopian movies should give Divergent a chance.

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