Saturday, March 29, 2014

Film Review: Divergent (2014)

Divergent is a 2014 action / science fiction / dystrophy motion picture that takes place in post-apocalyptic Chicago. It is based on the young adult novel with the same name by Veronica Roth.

In the world of Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, survivors are divided into five factions that cultivate a particular virtue: Candor (the honest); Abnegation (the selfless); Dauntless (the brave); Amity (the peaceful); and Erudite (the intelligent). Those who become ineligible become the faction-less, living in impoverished squalor. Every year on appointment day, all 16-year-olds must take a qualifying exam and select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, she must decide whether she will stay with her family (Abnegation) or join where she truly belongs. There is no turning back. Ultimately, she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

In her new faction (Dauntless), Beatrice renames herself as Tris and struggles to adapt to a new society. More importantly, Tris has a major secret, one she has kept hidden from everyone because she has been warned that it can mean ostracism and even death. As she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel the entire faction system, she must make an ultimate decision -- to save those she loves or be killed in the process.

A lot of people thought Divergent was a rip-off of The Hunger Games. THG has Katniss and Divergent has Beatrice who both come from stigmatized groups and compete in dangerous situations. However, the similarities end there. The critics are wrong. I will argue that Divergent is even better. Divergent had a better cast, no love triangle, and the faction concept is innovative. Tris was the better heroine who could stand up for herself rather than relying on the supporting cast to save her. Tobias/Four is the better male lead than Peeta (at least Tris actually loved Tobias/Four whereas Katniss has to fake her relationship with Peeta for the media). The film revealed many surprises that I won't reveal because I don't want to spoil the key parts of the film. Overall, I completely LOVED Divergent and highly recommend it(particularly in IMAX!). Stay tune for the the sequel, Insurgent. I hope there will be a 2015 release!

Divergent (2014) trailer

Unfortunately, the movie series ended after Allegiant due to less than stellar performance at the box office compared to success of the The Hunger Games series. If you are interested in finding out what happens to Beatrice in the finale, check out the Divergent series 4-book paperback series by Veronica Roth.

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