Movie Review & Faction Book Looks: Divergent!

Movie Review & Faction Book Looks: Divergent!Divergent Movie
by Veronica Roth
Release Date: 03/21/14

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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.

Abnegation: They dress in simple grey clothes and the women tie their hair back as simply as they can.
bl abnegation

 

Dauntless:  They are characterized by their relative extreme style. Their clothes are dark and they adorn their bodies with piercings and tattoos.
bl dauntless

 

Candor:  The Candor value honesty above all else. They regard the truth as black and white, which is reflected in the clothes they wear.
bl candor

Erudite:  At least one blue article of clothing at all times. They are also known for wearing glasses.
bl erudite

Amity:  They are recognized by their bright clothes, often yellow and red in colour.
bl amity

Then there’s the red-carpet inspired Divergent cover look I put together a few weeks ago:
bl divergent

About Veronica Roth

Veronica Roth is from a Chicago suburb. She studied creative writing at Northwestern University, and wrote DIVERGENT (Katherine Tegen Books, May 2011) and INSURGENT (May 2012). The third and final book in The Divergent Trilogy, ALLEGIANT, will come out on October 22, 2013. In the meantime she will spend endless hours browsing Wikipedia in her pajamas as she eats corn flakes. (Or some other kind of bland breakfast cereal.)

Comments

  1. “If you have Kate fucking Winslet in your movie, you take advantage of it!” Agreed! xD And I DEFINITELY wanted much more of the simulations. I really liked Shailene as well! Didn’t like Theo James, though, LOL! ;) I’m glad you enjoyed this one more than I did! Frankly, the VA movie made me laugh more than this one! D: Anyway, lovely review! And I love the Candor outfit. :D
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    • I refuse to watch the VA movie! That is one of my favorite series and I don’t want it to be ruined by a cheesy movie. Plus, I never liked the actors they picked for Lissa and Dimitri.
      And yeah, I hope they show more of the simulations in the next movie, they were over pretty quickly. Thanks!

  2. I really thought they nailed this movie! They did such a great job! I was actually worried about Theo, not because he isn’t gorgeous but just because he didn’t look like the Four I pictured in my head but I have to admit he is Four. He did so well and Shaliene is Tris. Everyone did a great job!

    Teresa @ Readers Live A Thousand Lives
    Teresa Mary Rose recently posted…Blog Tour: Dazed (Connections #2.5) by: Kim Karr (Promo and Giveaway)My Profile

    • I’m glad I didn’t have an image of Four already in my head (since I hadn’t read the books until like 2 months ago) so Theo totally worked for me. I’m glad hollywood got one adaptation right, the latest flops have been discouraging…

  3. I was debating if I should see this on the big scree or not, but you just settle that debate for me :) I’m going to make time this weekend to go see it. I’m glad the changes worked.
    You should be a costume designer in Hollywood :)
    Thanks for reviewing !
    Lupdilup recently posted…Demon from the Dark Audiobook by Kresley Cole (review)My Profile

  4. I’m glad to hear you enjoyed the movie, Nereyda. I’m still hesitant to go watch it because I really don’t like Shailene. Some of her interviews doesn’t make her across as the most likeable celebrity and I hate how she was slamming Twilight and bragging about her Tris is better than Katniss. It’s silly but she just rubs me the wrong way. And as much as I like Theo, I refuse to see him as Four. LOL. You probably think I’m nuts.
    Nick @ Nick’s Book Blog recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday (66) : Anatomy of a Misfit by Andrea PortesMy Profile

    • I’m not abig fan nof most male castings. I think the guy that plays Peeta is not cute at all! Gale is blah for me too. The guy that played Dimitri was so NOT Dimitri! I thought Edward looked cute in the first movie but in the other movies he looked like a nerd, and not in a good way. I’m glad I didn’t have someone in my head already for this movie. Maybe that’s why I liked him so much. Plus, he’s hot :)

  5. Wow, that’s awesome!! I love all of the book looks for each Faction. Amazing job!! I’m so jealous that you saw the movie. I can’t seem to get there. Finding a sitter for my son on weekends is a bit tough. I’ll probably have to wait until it’s released on DVD, which will feel like FOREVER! LOL! Great job!! :)
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  6. I really, really like the looks you came up for the different factions–in particular Dauntless, Candor, and Erudite! I’m also really glad they did Divergent justice, because like you said, the Vampire Academy movie was pretty bad. And that Allegiant ending? Ugh it killed me!
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  7. I agree, I think Shaliene was perfect as Tris! I was really happy that she was casted in the role althoughthe Tris in my head is more petite than her. Theo was hot, wasn’t sure at first when he got casted as Four but I think he did a great job. I still love The Hunger Games movies more but I think they (Divergent) stayed true to the book which I really appreciated. I have not read Vampire Academy but I have read really bad reviews about the movie!

    And awesome faction looks! You made Abnegation more stylish than the movie and book, that’s for sure ;)
    Amir recently posted…Mini Review: Onyx by Jennifer L. ArmentroutMy Profile

    • The Hunger Games kicks ass! Especially the second movie. I hate the third book so I wonder how they will pull it off…
      I actually like that they didn’t sex up the fashion in the movie. Thank you for not making Tris wear skin tight slutty clothing!

  8. I most def agree with you on the simulation scenes. Those could’ve been better. And yes, use the fuck out of Kate Winslet. Great review, and as always, looooove the fashion tie-in! I want to wear all of the things!
    Stephanie recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday: Stone Cold Touch by Jennifer L. ArmentroutMy Profile

  9. GREAT movie review! I saw it opening weekend and was pleasantly surprised. Shailene was amazing as Tris, her portrayal was spot on and don’t even get me started on Theo. Holy cannoli Batman!!!!!!!!!!! GORGEOUS!!! I have a thing for British men! LOL….
    They definitely changed some things around in the movie but overall, I thought it was decent. ;)
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  10. Yay! Glad you love this one too!
    And I definitely agree, those movie producer should definitely involved the author when they’re making the film. It’s like their book and their world, so they would be the one who knows it best :D
    And ohmygod Theo James O.O I actually thought that he was a lil bit too old, though. But that accent. And his swoony gaze. And everything, really.

    Great review!
    By the way, love what you did with the fashion! And that red-carpet look is gorgeous!

    Neysa @ Papier Revue
    Neysa Kristanti recently posted…Life of a Blogger : HandwrittingMy Profile

  11. i’m happy you liked Divergent! I know a lot of people came out of that movie really loving it! I wasn’t that big of a fan but i agree that the casting was pretty amazing. For me my big thing was just that the themes the book talked about werent in the movie, selflessness, bravery, cowardness, true meaning of sacrifice, etc. That was my big thing :/
    greta movie review! i like how you should what each faction wore ;) I’ll deifnetly be dressing dauntless now!
    Lily @ Lilysbookblog
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  12. LOL I had the same thought on Shailene and her watery eyes. The girl could pull it off easily. I loved the movie too and honestly, since it’s been forever since I read the first book, I barely noticed the changes from book to movie. It’s nice to finally have a good adaptation.
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  13. I really loved this movie and thought they did an excellent job keeping it as close to the book as they could given the time frame. Divergent is one of my favorite books, though I am still pissed about Allegiant though. Love your book looks.
    Ellen recently posted…Launch Day Blitz: If You Stay by Courtney Cole Paperback Release with Excerpt, Giveaway, and ReviewMy Profile

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