Going into the theatre, I had pretty high expectations to be honest. With all the hype and glowing reviews/reactions from fans and mainstream audiences alike, it’s hard not to get excited. Dismissing what the professional movie critics said, I know I was in for a good film adaptation. And I was right.
If I could describe Divergent in one word it would be faithful. This has got to be one of the most accurate and true-to-the-book adaptations I have seen. It’s amazing how they managed to compress all that awesome content in 2 hours. There were some plot flaws, on the other hand. I observed that they rearranged the events of the novel, and I was kind of taken aback by that. Nevertheless, it was pulled off with astounding fashion. The sequencing was on-point.
The setting was spectacular. They really put extra thought on the faction clothing and the facilities. I was especially amazed by the Abnegation houses and Dauntless pit. And the fence was so freaking cool! I imagined it to be the lame wooden fence with chain links, but in here it looks more high-tech and futuristic. Excellent.
The performance of the actors were very strong. Jai Courtney did a very good job in portraying Eric. He perfected that ruthless, authoritative scowl. Zoe Kravitz was very good too. I thought she had the right amount of humour and seriousness kicked in. Ashley Judd is another one of my favourites. The role of Natalie Prior is just perfect for her. She has a genuine motherly aura emanating from her.
On to the ‘okay’ performances. Although Shailene Woodley did an excellent job portraying Tris, she’s no action star. I’ve noticed that she has a very soft and sweet voice, and not like the raw and passionate voice Tris has in the novel. But I did like the scene wherein Natalie died, it’s where Woodley’s in her finest – an outburst of emotions and dramatic proportions. That’s why I’m very looking forward for her next YA adaptation, The Fault in Our Stars. Theo James, on the other hand, seemed very bland to me. He didn’t capture my attention as the other characters did. Same goes for Ansel Elgort. Maybe it’s just me.
Now for the ‘somewhat disappointing’ performances. Miles Teller is too funny for the role of Peter. I find myself giggling whenever he tries to insult Tris. He wasn’t even that cruel! I really hope he improves on the sequel because Peter is not someone to be laughed at. The most disappointing performance of all was Kate Winslet’s. I admit, I had really high expectations because she’s Kate Winslet for Heaven’s sake. The role was definitely meant for her, but I was missing the Jeanine Matthews’s personality. She seemed nicer in the movie than in the book. Plus, she scowls all the time. Where is the evil grin, people???
Some scenes that I really like are the zip lining scene. Not to mention Veronica Roth was there! I thought the Dauntless initiation was pretty kick-A. I love the training grounds and atmosphere. The fear landscapes were executed brilliantly. I wish we could’ve seen more of the secondary character’s fear landscapers though. The movie wrapped up nicely and definitely set for a sequel.
Overall, I really enjoyed the movie. I can’t wait for the sequel and hopefully I’ll cast all my doubts for good.