Is this The Hunger Games? Had no clue what I was seeing when I watched this film. I heard Divergent was similar to The Hunger Games in a way and was based upon a Novel written by Veronica Roth. Divergent is unique in a sense and aims towards similar targeted audiences such as; The Hunger Games and Twilight, mostly because of the transition of teenagers into adulthood as portrayed in the film.
The film takes place in a post-apocalyptic version of Chicago, following a young woman named Tris (Shailene Woodley) as she enters adulthood. Within the civilization Tris is living in, each person is divided up in five different groups of personality-related affiliation. Adults are already separated into their respective groups. Once their offspring hit the age of becoming an adult, they too will be placed into a group after taking a test and selecting which group they would like to be in. Tris discovers she doesn’t belong in any one group after she realizes she is divergent. She ultimately selects a group which she believes she could fit into. In this affiliation, Tris meets a mysterious guy named Four (Theo James) who trains her to become a soldier. During her training, the two find themselves falling for one another. Together, Tris and Four identify a hidden plot to change power in the five affiliations using the soldiers to over-power and control everyone.
Although I have yet to read the novel Divergent is based on, I believe the film leads to an open ended closing to continue with other sequels. The story does capture the audience attention and is slightly unique. During the film, Tris and others visit the city limits which has a huge fence to protect them from an unknown threat not ever shown. Several scenes focus on the vast size of the fence and leave the audience wondering what it is they are afraid of out there. More than likely, we will see this threat in future films.
The acting is sub-par to par at best. Shailene Woodley is definitely no Jennifer Lawrence. As the lead actress, Woodley does a decent job. But when watching her, I can’t help but feel something is missing in her performance. The chemistry in Woodley and James is strong and believable, which helps excel the romance building between the two. The small role of the controlling Jeanine Matthews who strives for power is played by Kate Winslet. Winslet has her usual strong acting performance, but it isn’t enough to push Divergent into something greater than it is.
If you expecting to see a film as good as The Hunger Games you won’t find it in Divergent. The film isn’t horrible, but just doesn’t deliver an excellent entertaining value.
About: Jake Grunwald
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