by Veronica Roth
Release Date: 03/21/14
In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.
During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, Tris also learns that her secret might help her save the ones she loves . . . or it might destroy her.
I’m always equal parts excited and terrified every time I hear that a book is going to be made into a movie. It could either turn out to be something amazing like the Harry Potter or the Hunger Games movies, or it could completely miss the mark like the Vampire Academy movie. When the movie was first announced, I didn’t really care for it too much since I hadn’t read any of the books. But slowly, as I saw the casting and the screenshots and trailers, this became something I wanted to read. After I heard the books (well 1 & 2 since I’m not bothering with book 3) on audio, I got what all the fuss was about and like the rest of you I was eagerly anticipating the release.
My friend and I (who also heard the books) went to see this release weekend and I was pretty fucking excited…but still nervous. I had good faith that the movie would end end up pretty good and luckily, the director and producers really nailed it! I think the main parts where book-to-movie adaptations fail is when they don’t invest good money in special effects and when they don’t work closely with the author. I mean, this is their baby! Who better to help the producers than the person that wrote the characters and knows her fan base? Both JK Rowling and Suzanne Collins were extremely involved in the movie adaptations and scripts and I hope this is something the movie industry people pay attention to. I was very impressed with the special effects in this movie. You could tell they invested this department but they also didn’t over do it and make it look fake. Special effects are so important! It drives me nuts when things look cheesy. Divergent got it right with this in my opinion.
There were quite a few changes in the movie but I could tell that they were necessary to keep a good flow and I wasn’t bothered one bit by any of the changes. Perhaps the biggest change is the bigger presence that Janiene’s character plays in the movie. In the book, she hardly comes out but she plays an important role in the book. And why not? If you have Kate fucking Winslet in your movie, you take advantage of it! I loved how she pulled off her character and it was neat seeing her in a different role. I also thought to myself ‘how cool, Shailene got to (fake) punch Kate Winslet!’ The only thing that bothered me about her was that she wore the same damn thing in every scene! My only complaint was that I didn’t really like the way the simulations were portrayed. For them being such a pivotal part in the books, I felt they were way too short in the movies and I wish they would have spent a little bit more time on them. That’s really probably my only complain.
Since I hadn’t read the books prior to the casting, I didn’t already have characters pictured in my head. Therefore, I had no problems with the cast choices. In fact, I think every single one of them was perfect. Shailene kicked ass as Tris! And girl can make her eyes go watery in a heartbeat. I was very impressed with her perfomance. Not gonna lie, Theo James was a huge reason why I even bothered to read the books and an even bigger reason why I was excited for the movie. Seriously, I know I don’t watch tv or much movies but where has this guy been hiding??? And I looooooved his voice! Yeah, yeah, I know he has an accent and I hate those. But I love his accent, I can hear it all day. This is very well one of those movies I can watch on mute. His parts at least. I was worried he would be just ‘a pretty face’ but he fucking brought it as Four! He was Four! I was impressed with the fight scenes and I loved the fight scene he and Tris had towards the end. My other favorites were of course Tori (I adore Maggie Q!), Christina, Eric and Peter. I’m excited to see them in the next movie.
Just when I was starting to lose hope on book adaptations, Divergent renewed my hope in them. Although I’m still mourning what they did to VA, I can only hope that more movies are like Divergent. And a huge tip to movie execs, don’t piss of the books’ loyal fans. If you don’t have the support of the fans, then you’re movie is pretty much DOA. I’m excited for the next movie and curious/scared as to how they will adapt the final book. It’s no secret that a lot of readers weren’t happy. Will they go see a movie with the same ending? And how will non-readers react to the ending? All in all, I thought this was a fantastic movie and book adaptation. One that both fans of the books and non-readers will enjoy. Go see it if you haven’t yet!
You know me and my love for fashion. I put some outfits together based on the different factions in Divergent. I really wanted to keep the looks simple and not sexy-fy them. I had fun doing them and I hope you like them! Click on any of the images for buy links. I got faction clothing description from this site.