Let me set the scene for you: it’s nearing the end of the second week of spring break, so obviously by this point all of my friends from home have already gone back to college. I am bored enough to be past the point of caring about whatever stupid social stigma there might be about going to the movies alone, because I might as well see the Divergent movie since I more or less enjoyed the book. Side note: if you’re a diehard fan, you might not want to ask for my opinion about the other two books in the trilogy… in fact you might want to just stop reading this blog post right now.
Most of the time I find myself falling into the slightly insufferable category of people pretentious enough to demand that the movie is never a good enough interpretation of the book. But as evidenced by my reasonable amount of apathy toward this particular adaptation, I didn’t really care enough to set my expectations high—mostly I was just interested to see how certain things that I had imagined looking pretty damn cool would be translated onto the big screen.
There were things I enjoyed about the movie (for example, it was very visually appealing), but overall I was relatively unimpressed. It mostly stuck to the book, but as usual, some things were changed to make situations seem more dramatic, which is to be expected. However, what I didn’t understand was why some of the most intense pieces of the story were either left out entirely or manipulated in a way that actually made them feel far less dramatic to me. Not to mention that these were some of the most important aspects of the plot that not only contribute to the next two books in the series but also add a lot to the character development. Because of this I just couldn’t bring myself to be emotionally attached enough to any of the characters which I think is pretty problematic. Half of them died and I was nowhere near having even the tiniest hint of moisture in my eye.
Part of my reaction might have been to the fact that the entire theater was packed to with girls between the ages of twelve and fifteen, meaning that they were very excited about, well, everything. Enthusiasm is always a great thing to have, but sometimes fangirling can get a little out of control. You don’t realize how ridiculous it can be when you’re the one dressed up as Moaning Myrtle arriving at the midnight premiere for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two approximately six hours ahead of time just so that you can be first in line (not that I’m speaking from experience or anything…cough). However, when you’re the person in the theater that is probably the most un-obsessed by a significant amount, the squealing at every semi-flirtatious glance between the main character and her love interest tends to be a little distracting.
Speaking of that, I also think that it is also important to note the interesting relationship web between the actors in this movie. There’s the main character, Shailene Woodley. Not only was the actor that plays her brother in this movie her love interest in The Fault In Our Stars, but the actor that plays her enemy in this movie was her love interest in The Spectacular Now. Obviously I know that they’re just actors and the whole point is that they’re changing roles and I should be able to step back and realize that, because it’s something that happens all the time. But still, having those thoughts in the back of my mind throughout the movie just threw me off a little bit, especially when, as I mentioned previously, there was very little establishing of any of their characters in Divergent.
But I think what might have irked me the most was that the movie did not really get the same message across that the book does. It conveyed the corruption and control over individuality of this dystopian government, but it fell short of presenting characters that prove that bravery and selflessness can be seen as almost the same thing.
Long story short, the Divergent movie certainly was not amazing by any means but I guess it was at least mildly entertaining, though certainly less so than the book (except maybe if you’re under the age of fourteen).