Fandom Freak Out: Divergent(Film Review)

Last week, I went to see Divergent with a friend, wearing my faction colours(blue for Erudite). Admittedly, I didn't have high expectations for this film, after my disappointment over the casting for Four and how the trailer lacked in making me really anticipate this film. At one point, I considered not seeing this adaptation, in fear that it would destroy the image of Veronica Roth's world I had in my head - something I'm extremely glad I didn't stick with, as from the opening sequence, I knew this film was going to be good. So good, in fact, that I managed to throw half a pack of Mini Eggs in the bin as we talked on our way out of the cinema - a blur of excited chatter about what may happen in the next instalment.
Set in dystopia Chicago, the city has been divided up into five factions based on human traits: Abnegation(the selfless), Amity(the peaceful), Candor(the honest), Dauntless(the brave) and Erudite(the intellectual). Sixteen year old Beatrice Prior, played by Shailene Woodley, does not fit in. She is Divergent; and to save her life she must hide in a faction where nobody will find her. Director Neil Burger has brought to life an incredibly detailed world, where the intricate faction-system that I would struggle to explain is easily understood by even those who have never read the books before. Stylistically done, 'Divergent' is thrilling and terrifying; especially when you take a moment to contemplate the future of our own society(or remind the person sitting next to you about the ending to 'Allegiant').
Shailene Woodley portrayed Tris faultlessly; I couldn't help but grin to myself every time she delivered a line straight from the book. Woodley captures what Tris is feeling before the Choosing Ceremony perfectly - just from the admiration you see when Dauntless run past. In the book, Tris is not this intentionally strong character, and you see her grow throughout training - a transition you really see in the film, despite it being much shorter than the five-hundred page novel. Woodley, as she leaves behind her character's Abnegation traits, is unflinching and powerful, demanding every moment of your attention. Theo James, without a doubt, was Four; taking his hard and cold demeanour and bringing it to the screen alongside Woodley. The way their relationship developed was one aspect of the film I adored - along with the inclusion of Ellie Goulding in the films score.
Let's talk about the supporting-cast! ZoĆ« Kravitz captured Christina's character perfectly, with the right level of wit and humour, while Ansel Elgort(Caleb), Miles Teller(Peter) and Ray Stevenson(Marcus) brought their characters alive effortlessly. Peter's character was sarcastic and bitter; I grew to both love and hate him. Jai Courtney(Eric) chilled me to the bone - along with Kate Winslet(Jeanine Matthews) who was the intimidating figure I imagined Jeanine Matthews as while reading.  
Throughout the reviews I've read, the cinematography has been applauded, and from the opening sequence(which was breath-taking) you could see the effort that had gone into adapting Roth's world to the screen; opening up the world that fans of the novel have been craving a look at for years. From simulations to zip-lining and climbing a Ferris wheel, it was all believable - and visually stunning to watch. Finally, though, we have an adaptation that stays true to the book, only deviating slightly at the end to make it better. Going into the cinema, I knew that the ending was different, but it's not to a huge extent. Instead, it's an unimaginable scale of action and excitement, where Woodley and Winslet steal every shot.
My only complaint? The initiation process took up a huge portion of the film with little actually happening. As much as I thought having all of the smaller details in there went well, at that point the tension dropped slightly.
4 Stars
Have you see 'Divergent'? What was your favourite scene?
Tell me in the comments!


  1. I agree with your review. I was also surprised how much I enjoyed it. Totally agree on the cinematography and Four was perfect.

    1. Yay! Glad you liked it! I was also really surprised; the trailer definitely didn't do it justice!

      Thanks for commenting, Emilia!

      -Sophie :)


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Sophie Louise