The Dauntless are in town...
It's the novel adaptation that we've all been waiting for.
Although it may seem that our excitement grasped us too hard as Neil Burger's take on the first of three hit novels by young author, Veronica Roth, maybe had too much time in the spotlight.
I've read the books and I can say that I am very aficionado of Divergent, Insurgent and Allegiant as they are all utterly thrilling novels that are masterfully written by Roth. They easily run for my all time favourite series and I think that it is the novel's greatness that has hypnotized everyone, making us all believe that Burger's adaptation will be just as good, if not better, than the stories we have all read. Nope.
We all think it will be The Hunger Games all over again, massive blockbuster domination. This isn't the case. 

It's basically just another YA franchise thinking it will go big in the streets of Hollywodd, grossing massively. It'll get teenagers attached to some new characters that resemble them greatly and then it gets them thinking about who they are and then makes them come to cherish their individuality and basically the same deal that we've been given with petty much every other YA franchise that out there.

Just to be clear, I have nothing against YA franchises but it's like being caught up in an endless loop where the message and idea is the same, just brought out differently every year.

The story follows Shailene Woodley's Beatrice Prior as she lives in a broken human society, in a blocked-off Chicago, where the civilians get divided into one of five factions based on their personality.
Abnegation is for the selfless, the people that serve others.
Amity, for the peaceful and the serene citizens.
Candor, the truthful and honest faction that leads a life without lies.
Erudite is the home of the intelligent and the brains.
Dauntless is for the daring and for the brave.

Tris sits the aptitude test, a program designed to see which faction a person belongs to, but her results "are inconclusive" as we find out that she is what is known as a "Divergent", where her aptitude is with 3 factions and not just one. The story basically shows this off as a kind of superpower as it gives Woodley the ability the solve problems and betray serums.

It's your typical YA storyline.
You have the lead, Tris. You have the lead's love interest that also gets pulled up to being a lead, Four. You have the evil and corrupt mind that also gets dragged up to being a lead, Jeanine. You have the world that everyone knows, factions and you have your predictable moments and typical teen action and suspense.

Honestly, we've seen it all before and it may not be the same but it has it's resemblences to other YA thrillers like Twilight and The Hunger Games

Kate Winslet's Jeanine Matthews steals the show! Her character is basically a female version of Donald Sutherland's President Snow, except for Divergent
She was a goddess with her ace acting as she really embraced the evil role and went full tyrant as te wicked witch of the factions.
She makes a compelling villain that, with her sexy, sharp looks and her brilliant touch of darkness, is fun to watch!

In the past, Woodley has always brought a thoroughly enjoyable performance to the table with her brilliant performances in The Descendants and The Spectacular Now. Divergent is no different as she tackles the challenges, of bringing a massively loved teen heroine to life and making it a believable and heartwarming performance that will satisfy fans, very well, making a strong and convincing action hero!

Theo James has the physique and the looks making fans think that he would make a pretty perfect Four, right? Wrong.
He has everything required to bring out the best in his hardcore character but he doesn't use it to his advantage. His performance is just about satisfying and it does works but I do believe that he could have added more diversity and more scope to the character that he brings to life because after all, Four is a captivating and thoroughly intriguing character with a history rich in greatness.
Whether or not Burger and co. decide to give Insurgent a Hollywood treatment that will actually do the novel some justice remains to be seen but as far as an introduction to Veronica Roth's wonderful world of factions goes, it was an entertaining start. 

Also, read my report of the UK premiere of Divergent here.

Divergent is your typical young-adult franchise.
It's sweet, smart and mildly amusing but definitely not as good as it could have been so let's just call it a decent opening to the rest of the trilogy (which I hope is a lot better than this because this series has the potential to go far).

About the Author

Awais Irfan
Founder of Oasis Awais, and avid lover of life, Awais Irfan's love of writing and film is unequivocal. Ever since he was a little kid, he has loved the cinematic experience; so much so, he is studying Film Production in Glasgow and hopes to be the next "big thing" in directing.

Related Posts