By: Cynthia Ayala
An entertaining film that brings to life a novel that focuses on the cost of unity at a particular price. While not a terribly unique concept, Shailene Woodley was able to bring to life her character and make herself, the character and the film shine. Read on for a full review.
Screenplay by: Evan Daugherty & Vanessa Taylor
Based on Divergent by Veronica Roth
Starring: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Ashley Judd, Ansel Elgort, Jai Courtney, Ray Stevenson, Zoë Kravitz, Miles Teller, Tony Goldwyn, Maggie Q & Kate Winslet
Set in a world where people are divided into distinct factions based on human virtues, Tris Prior is warned she is Divergent and will never fit into any one group. When she discovers a conspiracy by a faction leader to destroy all Divergents, Tris must learn to trust in the mysterious Four and together they must find out what makes being Divergent so dangerous before it’s too late
As a story, the movie is very simple. Society is separated into five factions to establish conformity and thus create peace and unity between people. But there are those who do not conform to society, called Divergent’s, that make those in power fear that they can ruin the established order. Not a unique story on Roth’s part, but as a movie, it was entertaining and that has more to do with the cast. Shailene Woodley and Theo James have the perfect chemistry to pull off this movie. Especially Shailene Woodley who turns a rather plain character on paper into a dynamic show-stopping person. Taking the lines, she delivers them with charisma. What Shailene Woodley does is make the character her own, creating priceless scenes as her character comes to accept who she is as she comes of age within the movie and becomes comfortable in her own skin.
As far as the rest of the casting goes, each character was able to exude and create the characters, making them their own. That is the main aspect of the movie that will really grab the audiences, and the trailers don’t highlight that. The movie is not focused just on special effects and has a simple cinematography to build a world in a very real fashion, filming the movie in Chicago, where the setting should have been, the design of a desolate world, of a world nearly crushed by war, was executed very well. The visuals and artistic detail to the costuming and the world highlighted the differences in factions and the dystopia of the world were simple, not overly dramatic, but intense enough to bring to light the world for the viewers to understand.
While this movie has the same foundations as THE HUNGER GAMES, this story, while it is diminished in comparison, has a cast that is just as invigorating. The only downfall with this movie is the cliché base of the story, but as a movie, it was told well and captured well enough by the writers and the cast to make it an entertaining film for moviegoers. ★★★☆☆ (B)