Following true to my pattern of being the last girl on earth to watch the popular blockbusters, I took normalcy a step further with this popular blockbuster hit. I bought a copy of Insurgent its first week to DVD and waited… and waited …and, well, you see the trend. Finally, last week I put it into my laptop, snuggled in and hit play.
FILM REVIEW: Divergent (2014)
Beginning just where Divergent left off, Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley) and her gang of Dauntless rebels are in hiding among one of the fractions. Tris is haunted by the choices of her past, including the blood on her hands and the death of her mother. It doesn’t help that fellow Dauntless member, Peter (Miles Teller) taunts her about everything. Taking a bit of control, Tris chops off her hair and tries to keep her boyfriend, Four (Theo James) from discovering she is still suffering nightmares. Freedom doesn’t last long and close on its heels is discovery when fraction leader Jeanine (Kate Winslet) finds Tris and her friends.
Escaping thanks in part to Peter’s distraction, Tris, Caleb (Ansel Elgort) and Four set out to find the rest of Dauntless, all of whom are scattered about the fractions. Only Four is the one who winds up surprised when he is forced to take shelter with his mother (Naomi Watts), a woman with an agenda of her own...
Given that I’m watching these movies without benefit of reading the books, I probably have a different perspective than most fans. I remember when this played in theaters fans were crushed over the divergence the script took from the book. These many months later, while finally watching this (in two parts), I can say, I still easily prefer this YA dystopian story to The Hunger Games. I can get behind this one more and feel more invested in the characters as well as the romance. Then there is Katniss, who is far too staid to feel much for though I do understand why she is that way. Tris has more fire, more personality and though she may run the wrong way at times, at least she’s inciting a change with a purpose.
This film is much different than Divergent because Tris spends a good portion of it suspended in a virtual reality. Like our protagonist, once this section begins, we have to pause and wonder whether what we’re seeing is real or imagined, most often it’s the latter. The primary reason I adore this franchise (as films) so well is because of the romance. I feel like Four’s and Tris’ romantic liaison is more settled and mature than more young adult novels give us. Do they fight? Yes. But I never feel like I’m about to combust because one of the parties is keeping their feelings a secret or they're being plan and simple stupid. Theirs is a relationship with more wisdom than its peers and for that alone, I have to give this series props.
Anyone who likes dystopian worlds is certain to like this adaptation. Though I cannot say those of you who were fans of the book will feel any warm fuzzies for this. It worked nicely in my opinion because it gave Tris time to grieve, to consider what her life had been. She came away stronger (hopefully) and is ready to walk into what she’d like to believe is a better future. Naturally that’s not likely what is in store for our heroine, but I feel like this script did have a purpose whether it followed protocol or not is irrelevant. There is a time and place for creativity, and I do applaud this as a film entity. I feel like I’d even admire this had I read the book because generally I respect creativity. Though not as spectacular as its predecessor, Insurgent has plenty of "wow" moments, and slower yet equally important poignant tearjerkers. It helped drive and sell the characters which is more than some word-for-word adaptations can say.
What did you think of this movie? Do you like the idea that part one and part two of the finale now have two separate titles? Share any of your thoughts on this series down below.
(Content: there is one sensual scene – a couple begins to undress and kiss before the camera cuts away, all without catching anything graphic. There is a scene or two of an unmarried couple lying in bed, sleeping. There is plenty of “violence” or fighting though again, nothing is overly disturbing; people are shot with sleeping potions, others are forced to commit suicide. Multiple virtual realities involve tense situations and people free falling through the air. Hand to hand combat features in the film’s primary action scenes. The film is rated PG13.)