Monday, March 24, 2014

Movie Review: Divergent

Rated: PG-13
139 minutes

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. (description from

**Warning! There will be spoilers ahead...**

Friday, I was lucky enough to have the day off and so two friends and I (both also YA junkies, LOL) went to see Divergent during the afternoon. I was stoked to miss the craziness of a weekend night movie. I'm such an "old lady" now and I get really cranky in large crowds at a theater - I paid to hear that whole movie, D@mmit, so stop talking through the whole thing!

ANYWAY, I was thoroughly impressed with the way that this movie turned out.  I was not a huge fan of Shailene Woodley's character on The Secret Life of the American Teenager so it took me some time to
change my opinion of her acting skills, but man, did that girl NAIL it as Tris.  She hit all the high and low notes of the character, delivering a tough, yet physically vulnerable, self-sacrificing and sometimes stupidly brave girl.  I loved her as Tris.

Watching her transform from the Abnegation girl that struggled to meet society's expectations of her to the brave Dauntless that defied everyone's idea of who she should be was inspiring.  I also know that Shailene trained like crazy for a lot of the stunts (she insisted on doing many of her own!) and her strength and ability to be fearless as an actress really impressed me.  I took one look at some of the things she did (like climbing that ferris wheel) and found myself having heart palpitations right in the theater!

Reliving those moments that I only had a vague memory of reading and finding so exciting years ago when  first came to my Library was awesome on the big screen.  I loved the way that they tackled the
Divergent testing scenarios and I thought that the way both Tori and Four acted when seeing Tris' ability to manipulate her visions was really well done.  The fears, both real and imagined, of everyone involved were vivid and apparent on screen, and as Tris came to realize what the testing serums were being developed for...well, let's just say that connecting the dots was easy to do through her.

Speaking of the Erudites and their plan, I thought that Kate Winslet's portrayal of Jeanine Matthews was spot on.  In fact, most of the casting choices were AMAZING.  The actor who played Eric gave me the utter heebie-jeebies, as he should! I loved Ashley Judd as Tris' mom and found myself near to tears in many of their interactions.  When it comes to casting, though, I think the gold star goes to the choice to have Theo
James play Four. *sigh*  Again, I hadn't been sure...he wasn't quite what I'd pictured and yet... man, again, he just NAILS it as Four.  Stubborn, stoic, and well, muscle-y.  *grins*

The only thing that could have improved the movie a little in my opinion would have been more kissing!! LOL. Those two had great chemistry.

All in all, a fabulous film that I can't wait to own on DVD!

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