Exploring the art of storytelling.
Five months late, but I have finally watched “Divergent.” I am a dedicated book fan so I had very high expectations for the movie.
I loved the visual elements of this film. I felt that the set, costumes, and props were spot on with the book. Everything looked just as I had imagined- the city, outside the wall, the ferris wheel, dauntless headquarters, the training room… The design team clearly worked very closely with the book and were very detailed in creating the world of “Divergent.”
I thought Shaliene Woodley did a great job in playing Tris. One scene that stood out for me was when her mother died. Being a young actress, I doubt that Woodley has had to deal with many situations like this. Lacking this experience, Woodley still did a great job in expressing true sorrow. My heart sunk when she cried for her mother’s death. I felt extreme empathy because of the intensity of her acting.
When I originally saw who was cast as Four, I was a bit hesitant. Theo James was an actor I had never seen before, and I didn’t think he looked the part. However, he surprised me. I really enjoyed James rendition of Four. He had some funny one-liners and facial expressions that added to his character, bringing out Four’s personality. Overall, I was relatively satisfied with his performance.
One thing that I noticed while watching “Divergent” was that the fight scenes were a bit awkward. They felt very forced. I could tell that it was clearly choreographed (which is true for any action movie, but the point is to have it appear real, not choreographed). The fighting was almost too slow, and I could tell that the actors were very focused on hitting specific points and moves. I don’t think they hired a good combat choreographer. I wish the sequences were a little more fluid and life-like. The awkwardness of the fighting scenes took me out of the story, reminding me that what I was watching wasn’t real.
The end of the film felt a bit too rushed. Because of this, certain events weren’t as emphasized as they were in the book. For example, when Will died. Will’s death was a huge part of the book and has a big influence on Tris’s friendships in the upcoming films. I wish the director spent more time on that scene, eluding to the fact that this was going to haunt Tris for the rest of her life.
With any book-to-screen adaptation, plot points, characters, etc may be lost due to the time constraint. There were a few elements of the book that I wish made it into the film, but sadly did not. One prime example was the incident with Peter and Edward. When Peter stabbed Edward, this illustrated that Peter is a very dark individual and will sacrifice another to get what he wants. This scene was exempt from the movie. And while it didn’t affect the overall plot, it changed Peter’s character in the film. In the film, Peter seemed more like your everyday bully who is a whole lot of talk, but not a lot of action. He was rude and aggressive, but did not seem to be too much of a threat. Peter was not portrayed as the same cruel character he is in the book. I’m curious as to what will happen with his character in the future films.
Where was Uriah? One of my favorite characters from the series was not in the movie, and while his presence wasn’t necessary, I was just disappointed not to see him. He better be in the upcoming films!
Overall, I am quite satisfied with the movie rendition of “Divergent.” It met my expectations. Now, I can’t wait to see “Insurgent!”