directed by Neil Burger
screenplay by Evan Daugherty and Vanessa Taylor
starring Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Kate Winslet, Zoe Kravitz, Jai Courtney, Ashley Judd, Ansel Elgort, and others
released March 21st, 2014 (US)
rated PG-13, 139 minutes
a production of Summit Entertainment
Spoilers? What spoilers? YOU SHOULD HAVE READ THE BOOK OR WATCH THE MOVIE ALREADY BY NOW
Set in a futuristic dystopia where society is divided into five factions that each represent a different virtue, teenagers have to decide if they want to stay in their faction or switch to another - for the rest of their lives. Tris Prior makes a choice that surprises everyone. Then Tris and her fellow faction-members have to live through a highly competitive initiation process to live out the choice they have made. They must undergo extreme physical and intense psychological tests, that transform them all. But Tris has a secret that she is Divergent, which means she doesn't fit into any one group. If anyone knew, it would mean a certain death. As she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, this secret might help her save the people she loves... or it might destroy her. (from IMDB)
In the first post of this month I mentioned that Divergent movie is the thing that excited me most about March. AND NOW YAY I CAN OFFICIALLY SAY THAT I'VE WATCHED IT! I took a friend with me to pamper our hair at a barbershop first (as planned...) last Friday and went to watch the movie afterward. I'm not a really hard person to please when it comes to movie adaptations of books I love, so needless to say I'm TRULY SATISFIED with how the movie turns out! My friend (who hasn't read the book) said that she REALLY liked the movie too. Yay!
I want to share some of my opinion about the movie with you, and I'd like to hear what YOU thought of it, please! Let's discuss it together! I have so much fun discussing with real life friends so it must be even better to be able to talk about it together with fellow readers who either have or have not read the book (at least you understand about how big the hype around this franchise is)! :)
First, the casts. To be pretty honest, I was quite disappointed with the casts (even with Kate Winslet and Maggie Q joining the team) Our two main stars, Theo James and Shailene Woodley, are so not how I imagined my Four and Tris. One is too old, the other one too 'big'. But after I watched the movie, OMG I'M AWED FOR REALZ. I mean, I still like my version of Four and Tris in my mind better but I REALLY LIKE how they portray THEIR own versions! Now I understand why so many people gush so much about Theo James; he's super swooooooooony. I can't stop admiring him throughout the whole movie, the way he moves, the way he talks (HIS VOICE OMG), the way he looks at Shailene... I can't, I can't. My heart cannot take it.
THE SET, GUYS. THE SET. Especially if we're talking about Dauntless. My other friend and I have the same reaction over this: It's like the set is being copied out of our minds! THAT is totally the way I picture the Dauntless compound while reading the book. The pit, the dining place, EVERYTHING. It's kinda shocking to see the similarities between my imagination and the movie set. AWESOME. The only set that didn't 'click' right with me is the place where they held the choosing ceremony. In my mind, the hall is a lot bigger than the one in the movie.
The knife throwing scene! AYYY MY FAVE. You have to LOOK at the way he looks at Tris, the way he grips the knives, and the music! The music is so spot on it truly helps building all the tension. (And while we're at it, I'd like to say how much I love the songs they use as the movie soundtrack! The placement is also quite good. None feel weird or strange).
AND ALL THE SCENES THAT ARE DONE RIGHT. Awesomely. Awe-mazingly. I've many other favorite moments in the movie: One, when the Dauntless jump (LIKE A BOSS) from the running train on the choosing ceremony day. Two, Tris running along with the other Dauntless into their compound, jumping from the train onto the rooftop. Be careful, bb. No, I'm not creying, I just feel proud for my bb Tris. Three, the flag catching (PLUS ferris wheel) scene. Ossum. Four, ZIP LINING Okay, okay, I'll stop now before I spoil all the scenes to ya who haven't read or watched.
I think the chemistry between Theo and Shailene is quite good, yes? I'm pretty happy with it. Their movements around each other doesn't seem forced or whatever, and from all his stares, her dazed look, it's easy imagining them falling in love with each other. It's pretty clear how much the age gap between them but oh well while you're watching the movie who cares right..... The romance lovey-dovey part is not all over the movie, too, it isn't being overshowed, that's a good thing. It's not all about the romance, after all.
DID YOU SEE VERONICA because I totally saw her (at the beginning of the zip-lining scene, right?!) but I didn't know about her being a cameo in the movie so I was like 'Eh? Eh? Did you see that? That's the author of the book what is she doing there?!' to my friend. Who's actually much more clueless than I am.
|Badass author. I TOTALLY SEE YOU|
Side characters are cool. ZOE KRAVITZ AS CHRISTINA IS AWESOME. She's so far from MY Christina but I LOVE HER AS CHRISTINA in the movie. I wanna hug and tickle and pinch her a little. Other characters are pretty much okay, a little forgettable for me. It was quite difficult for me to differ the actors who play Peter, Will, and Al, to be honest. Ansel as Caleb didn't left much impression (curious about his portrayal of Augustus Waters, though! We'll see).... So was Kate Winslet as Jeanine (even though they've made her appear more often than in the book). My Jeanine was a bit colder than her version. I dislike the movie version of Tris' mom, played by Ashley Judd. Didn't get emotional at all at that last scene between her and Tris. *shrug*
[Honorary mention to Jai Courtney as Eric. He's PERFECT for the role. From the beginning I've wanted to slap his face whenever he talks. Means he's successfull portraying his character, right?]
[[And the costume and makeup team. COOL COSTUMES, COOL TATTOOS. The mascara on Tris was a lil bit too much, yes (har har) but she looks so goddang sexy all the time I can hardly complain. Badass superheroine.]]
[[[When Peter is all "It's not like you're actually gonna shoot me." And Tris "Why does everybody keeps saying that?!" *SHOOTS* THAT'S MA GIRL]]]
[[[[Also, Four: "My name is Four." Christina: "Four? What, were One, Two, Three already taken?" HARHARHAR]]]]
For a two and half hours long of a movie, Divergent is pretty awesome at transferring most of what happened in the story to a big screen. I'd say about... 80%-ish percent stays true to the book, right? At least he parts that are omitted and changed make no hassle in enjoying and understanding the plot of the movie. Again, me = easy to please. I don't care that there are lots of important characters/parts being cut (Uriah? Edward?) as long as the movie is still pleasing for me. Moreover, I adore all the beautiful cinematography! The colors, the places, the atmosphere, all blend perfectly. Feast to the eyes, I should say.
When I watch a movie adaptation with friends who haven't read the book, the first thing I always do after we get out of the cinema is asking them whether they understand the story or not. My friend says she understand it, fortunately, the whole 'faction' thing, but she still has some questions about Four. His history with Marcus (based on the fear landscape scene), that is. I guess this is quite a problem because I also feel that Theo's portrayal of Four doesn't really explain much about his four (not merely fears, but) phobias, Four's actual personality. In the movie, he only seems strong, undefeated, charming, and all, but Theo doesn't really reveal Four's side of insecurity and his pain when he has to face his fears. On the ferris wheel scene, for example, he asks Tris 'Are you human?' (lots of people in the studio laughed on this part!) but then he just goes on climbing that ladder. Or in that fear landscape scene with his father. Maybe it'll be a bit better if they show how Four's hands are... trembling, shaking a little, close up shot to his hands, you know? He needs to look more vulnerable, because Four is. Despite his outer aura, inside Four is still a 18 years old boy who needs someone (as in Tris) to hold him as much as the other person (again, as in, Tris) needs him. Just my two cents, though.
Same thing also applies to Shailene as Tris. She needs to work more on her expressions, IMO. She doesn't really look thrilled when Tris should be, doesn't really look terrified, or shocked, or gutted, or... anything, actually. I believe she can do so much more than that, and while she's lacking in expressions, her acting is good! :)
FOR FUN: 'Watching the Divergent movie' in GIF
ENOUGH OF ME. Now what about YOUR OPINIONS? Have you watched the book prior to watching the movie?! What do you think of the movie? Any scenes that left big impressions on you? Things that make you disappointed? Things that you think SHOULD be included in the movie but missing? Did you FANGIRL OVER THEO AS MUCH AS I DID (AHAHAHAHAHAH HAH those british guys)? Let's taaaaaaaaalk about it :D
Don't forget to always have fun and read some more!