Saturday, 26 April 2014
'Divergent' Review (with GIF's!)
Greetings members of the blogosphere! Today, as you've probably already gathered, I'll be reviewing the new young adult dystopian movie that everyone's been buzzing about, 'Divergent'. Did it live up to the hype? Was it enjoyable despite being totally mainstream? I guess you'll just have to continue reading.
I have to admit, going into this movie, I seriously had my doubts. Despite myself, I did really enjoy the second instalment of the 'Hunger Games' Trilogy (or tetralogy now that the last book's been split into two, but whatever). But seriously, how many young adult dystopian movies based on novel trilogies can there be? And how many of them can actually be good? There's also the factor of 'Divergent' being totally and utterly mainstream. Now I'm no hipster, but I just don't put all that much faith in the age group that thought 'Twilight' was anything but dreadful. However, I have to say, I did think this movie was pretty awesome in spite of my low expectations.
The film transports us to a future where the world is divided into separate categories. It is believed that in order to prevent any future war, it is vital for citizens to placed with their own kind. In order to help determine their placement, 16 year olds are forced to undergo a personality test, which will sort them into one of the 5 factions- these being Erudite (smart and logical), Amity (kind), Candour (honest), Dauntless (fearless protectors) and Abnegation (selfless). However, people are given the choice to disregard this outcome and determine their own faction in a 'Choosing Ceremony'. One they have made their decision, they are unable to change without becoming 'factionless', and as a result, poverty stricken.
The movie revolves around protagonist Beatrice (Shailene Woodley), a 16 year old girl in Abnegation. The plot thickens when she gets an unclear reading on her personality test, meaning that she is what is referred to as a Divergent. This means that she has traits from many of the different factions, and is unable to be categorised, posing a threat to the government due to the fact that she can't conform. Surprisingly opting for 'Dauntless' at the Choosing Ceremony, Beatrice is separated from her brother, Caleb (Ansel Elgort) as well as her parents (Tony Goldwyn, Ashley Judd), and is forced to keep her true identity a secret.
Along the way, Beatrice (now shortened to 'Tris') befriends fellow transfer Christina (Zoë Kravitz), and meets instructors Eric (Jai Courtney) and 'Four' (Theo James).
In another plot twist, it is revealed that the initiates with the lowest ranking by the end of the week will be cut and deemed factionless, which isn't favourable for a struggling Tris.
Over the course of the film, the Dauntless recruits are required to do a bunch of crazy stuff including fighting each other in the arena and jumping off buildings.
Lots of other stuff happens as well throughout the movie, the film being jam packed with a bunch of training montages and crazy stunts, not to mention the initiates having to face their worst fears through an electronic simulator.
Slowly (and not so surprisingly), Four is established as Tris' love interest, and initiate Peter (Miles Teller) is brought in as an enemy. Things get complicated when Erudite leader Jeanine Matthews (Kate Winslet) plans to overthrow Abnegation by turning Dauntless into mindless, controllable soldiers in a power struggle that can only be described as epic.
Will she succeed? I guess you'll just have to watch the movie, which means this officially marks the end of my seriously extensive plot retelling. Hopefully not too many spoilers were spilled (sorry about that fangirls and boys).
As I said before, I was really impressed with this movie. Before watching it, I honestly had no idea what it was going to be about (yes, I'm one of those annoying people who watch the movie without having read the book). However, I was majorly lured by the story without being totally confused the whole time, which is always a good balance. I also thought that Shailene Woodley was really good as Tris (despite the fact that her brother was played by the guy who plays her boyfriend in 'The Fault in Our Stars', but let's just turn a blind eye to that). Her character actually very easily could've been super annoying with her indecisiveness and constant narration, however she never enters into the realm of irritating, which just further highlights her quality acting.
Probably the only negative thing about it (although this is no fault of the movie's) is that they're names are just super uninspiring. At least in 'The Hunger Games' they've got kinda cool, original names like Katniss and Peeta, but Beatrice and Tobias? They just sound like the names of a couple of members in a home for the elderly. However, I guess in the grand scheme of things, that doesn't really matter at all.
Overall, I thought this movie was pretty darn cool. The story wasn't overly derivative (which is pretty hard for anything vaguely dystopian), the acting was really great, and despite it being over 2 hours, there wasn't ever a majorly dull moment. I highly suggest that you guys go out and watch it, I can pretty much guarantee you won't be disappointed. Til' next time . . .