The movie adaption of Veronica Roth’s Divergent was met with mixed feelings from the audience. Though common among fans of books-turned-movies, many “Divergent” fans were feeling the nerves as the film hit the theaters on March 21.
To start with, the cinematography was, without a doubt, exceptional and professional. The producers of the film were able to capture the feel of the city with the use of subtle details including the railroad tracks and the differences in faction clothing. All of these elements brought the film up to standard.
One component that was lacking in the film was character development. Roth created in-depth supporting characters that were not portrayed well, or portrayed at all, in the film.
Uriah is a fantastic example. While this native Dauntless initiate does not play a huge role in the book, his existence is key to Tris’s initial friendship with the Dauntless-born initiates. While there were two or three characters that could have been Uriah, it was not clearly revealed.
The exception to this lack of character development was actress Shailene Woodley. She has been criticized for her performance as Tris on the account that previous roles did not prepare her for such a developed character.
But fans need not fear, as Woodley stole the spotlight with her outstanding and believable performance. She was able to develop Tris throughout the film, changing from the unsure and submissive daughter of a politician, to a strong and independent young woman. She portrays Tris as the impulsive yet goodhearted girl that she is, with just a touch of insecurity to make her relatable to the audience. We see Tris come of age and independence in the book, and Woodley is able to bring Tris to life in the film.
The biggest aspect that was met with concern were the parts of the film that drifted from the original story—the duration and expectation of the aptitude test, the deaths of key characters and a drunken Four—to name a few.
While fans of the book may have been disappointed, the fact of the matter is that was still a great film. Yes, it may not have had all the details that the book did. But, giving the cast and crew of the film some credit, fitting such a complex book into a two and a half hour time slot must be hard.
I was surprised that they were able to fit in all that they did. So no, the storyline was not changed drastically. But yes, it is clear to see that it was changed just enough to garner notice from fans of the book, understandably so.
While Shailene Woodley did a phenomenal job and the effects of the film were sound, the main point of the film was to be an adaptation of the book. It missed a few significant details, but was still able to bring the general feel of the book to the big screen.
I give the movie: 3/5 stars
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