Divergent

based on the Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth
directed by Neil Burger;
screenplay by Evan Daugherty & Vanessa Taylor;
starring Shailene Woodley (Tris Prior) and Theo James (Four)

movie website | the book | IMDb

MOVIE SYNOPSIS: In a world divided by factions based on virtues, Tris learns she’s Divergent and won’t fit in. When she discovers a plot to destroy Divergents, Tris and the mysterious Four must find out what makes Divergents dangerous before it’s too late.

THE BOOK (movies)

Divergent (Divergent, #1)

I admit that, while I didn’t love Divergent, I thought that it was a pretty entertaining read. Buuuut when I watched the movie 2 and a half years after reading the novel, I found that I couldn’t remember anything! Both Dyan and I gave it 4 stars, I think.

I remember liking Tris and Four together (in the first book, at least), but thinking that the identity of Four was super predictable. I think Christina, Will and Al were my favorite characters in the novel, and I was highly anticipating seeing them in the movie.

THE MOVIE (movies)

Again, Dyan and I watched this one together, as well as a few of our friends. I’ll admit–I went into this movie expecting it to be amazing, since there’s a lot of potential for a really sophisticated plot like this one. Then again, I watched it being kind of blind, since I couldn’t remember a lot of the novel. This is also why I won’t be able to tell you guys how close the movie is to the book!

The prism.

Okay. I think this movie will confuse viewers who haven’t read the novel yet. I myself, having read the book, was still a bit confused in some scenes, due to the lack of explanation and narration.

I didn’t get a lot of good deets about the factions, the systems and everything. The aptitude tests and the Choosing Ceremony were both explained pretty quickly and the scenes with these were pretty simple as well, whereas I would’ve wanted to see more of both. The simulations (of the fear landscapes/fearscapes) were pretty well-done, though!

Tris and Four. (*pukes*)

As for the acting and casting, I think that the characters were portrayed well by the actors. Okay, maybe I was a little confused because Peter, Will and Al all kind of looked the same to me, lol! But Shailene did a really good job with Tris’ character, even if Tris (in this movie) wasn’t as badass as I’d thought her to be in the novel. She was a little softer here, I’d say.

Then there’s Theo James as Four. Dyan and another friend were continuously fangirling over the romance between Tris and Four (said friend wouldn’t stop saying how hot Theo is, while I disagree), and I sat there practically rolling my eyes out of their sockets. I really didn’t like the romance in this one. I felt that Four was too easy on everyone, whereas he was a bit more badass in the books, no? And their first kiss practically came out of nowhere! It was bothersome (for me, at least).

Christina & Tris jumping off a train.

Friendships were alright in this one. I liked the bond between Tris and Christina, but Will and Al were a bit out of place and they seemed insignificant most of the time.

Overall, the movie was a just bit less than average. I did like the acting. The ending was paced a bit too quickly compared to the okay pacing of everything else. I would’ve liked more interactions between Four and Tris before their rushed kiss. (I totally made a rhyme.) If you liked the book, though, I still think the movie’s worth watching!

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THE TRAILER (movies)

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Let’s discuss! Have you watched the movie? If you have, what did you think of it? If you haven’t, do you plan to and what are your expectations?
SIG - Aimee
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38 thoughts on “Movie Review: Divergent

    1. Hahaha! I’m just nitpicky like that. ;) Noooo haha! They originally wanted to cast Jeremy Irvine as Four (but he turned it down) and he’s wayyy hotter IMO, haha! xD

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  1. I haven’t read the book yet because I heard the third book wasn’t that good. Maybe I’ll check out the movie when it’s on DVD or something. :P

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  2. I want to be evil and just walk by people waiting in line to see it and say that Tris will die in the last movie, haha.

    And I’m definitely not going to watch the movie unless I can watch it for free, somehow, through a friend or some other way. I do not support the book, and I never did like the actors cast for the movie. It just looks so wrong, and it doesn’t help that I was expecting to get the same feeling I got when I saw JLaw in her Katniss costume. I was hoping for a sense of, “This is Tris,” but I didn’t. It might stay true to the book, but I hate how people are saying it’s better than HG.

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    1. I totally told my friends that, haha! I enjoy people’s misery. ;)

      I can’t agree more, Shannelle! The actress (physically) did not scream “Tris” at all. It bothered me until the end of the movie, but the acting was okay, at least. And Theo James–*shudders* Nope. Not hot. And definitely, in terms of both the movies and the books, HG is one of my ultimate favorites. The Catching Fire movie gave me the longest movie hangover I’ve ever experienced, lol! :) Thanks a lot for sharing, Shannelle!

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    1. I haven’t read Allegiant yet, haha! But of course, I already know what’s going to happen. :P I didn’t even know that she was going to play Hazel until a friend told me! She looks really different there. It must be the hair, haha!

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  3. AH! I knew I was right to have a bad feeling about this movie :P Like FOUR. WHAT. NO THEO JAMES. JUST NO. A lot of my non-book blogger friends really enjoyed the movie, but for me I really can’t be bothered to watch it :\ While I agree that the casting for Tris was almost perfect, to me, a thirty year-old playing an eighteen-year old is just… BLERGH. And like Shannelle said, it would be pretty funny to see people bemoaning Tris’ death. Heh. (oh dear, here comes my evil instincts kicking in! Must stomp them out!! :P)
    But thanks so much for sharing, Aimee!! ^^ I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy this one :(

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    1. Thanks for being my anti-Theo buddy, Emily! =P Funny, Dyan just texted me about the age diff. between Shailene & Theo, haha! The people I watched with really enjoyed it, too! And yesssss. We’re eviiiil!!

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  4. I really liked the movie, and would’ve given it a 4/5. Like you, it’d been a long time since I read the books, but I discovered that I remembered almost everything. There were little things that I’d forgotten, though.
    I thought that there was a lot of explanation and narration in the movie, though, so I’m confused why you didn’t think so.
    Shai was brilliant as Tris. And LOL, Al, Will, and Peter looked the same to me too! Then I finally realized which one was Peter, but still got confused between Al and Will!! It wasn’t until close to the end, when Al almost killed Tris, that I could finally differentiate between the two of them. Oh, and I really liked Tris and Christina’s bond too.
    Tris was actually a real softie in the first book, then gradually became more and more badass (as we saw in the movie) until she becomes Insurgent Tris, who’s really badass.
    I thought that Theo James was a perfect Four, though I had my misgivings at first. He was perfectly hot and mysterious. I found him smoking hot! I agree that Four and Tris’ romance was a little off in the movie, and I’m glad you think so too! It was much better in the books, and I did think that their first kiss basically came out of nowhere, I wasn’t satisfied, but I was happy enough because I shipped them so hard.
    I really disliked how Al and WIll were more insignificant in the movie. Plus, I hated how they didn’t show Will and Christina being a couple (I guess you forgot that too, huh?).
    Nonetheless, I feel like people who hadn’t read the book should be able to understand and follow the movie just fine, and for people who read the book, the movie was pretty accurate to the book, except for my few grievances. And that’s all I ask for.
    Here’s a link to my review of the movie – http://ardentfangirl.wordpress.com/2014/03/24/movie-review-divergent/
    – Kele(theardentfangirl)

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    1. Hi Kele, thanks for sharing your thoughts!
      Well, I guess it depends on the person. A few of my friends (even one who has read the books) were asking a few questions while watching the movie.
      I really liked Shailene as Tris as well! And it took me a while to get used to figuring out who was who, lol! And I think we really are different–I really liked Tris’ character more in Divergent than Insurgent, haha!
      I might be a bit biased with the whole Four thing since I’m not a fan of the actor, but my friend wouldn’t stop smirking and making side comments about how hot he was. XD
      I know, right!? Al and Will were two of my favorite characters in the books. D: Will & Christina were just a bit couple-y with the PDA and stuff, but it was sad that it didn’t show how they really cared for each other. (That’s my Divergent OTP right there.)
      The movie was pretty close to the book which was great! Not a lot of movies do that, sadly. .___.
      I’ll definitely check out your review–thanks for sharing!

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  5. I didn’t LOVE the book either but I did like it. I have crazy expectations for the movie though. I’m just so impossibly excited about it and I don’t know why! BUT I’m happy that you still think it’s worth watching! :)

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    1. Same here! I expected a lot since my cousins and close friends really enjoyed this one! I definitely still recommend it since most the people I know really liked it. :)

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  6. Awwww that’s too bad. :( I’m watching it tomorrow with friends–hopefully I’ll like it more than you did haha! I ADORED the book but the books after were juts. Eh.

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    1. A lot of my friends loved this one so I hope it turns out better for you, Nikki! :D Divergent was good, but insurgent was bleh. Haven’t read Allegiant yet though. :O

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    1. I pick at every detail when it comes to book-to-movie adaptations, haha! It’s pretty close to the book, but some characters weren’t there, like Edward. ;(

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  7. I had the Divergent ARC when it was out, but it got misplaced and I never got around to replacing it. Since the movie came out, I decided to finally read it. I finished it yesterday, and now I’m reading the 2nd book. I’m enjoying them, but not LOVING them. I don’t like the sound of Tris being softer in the movie, because her fire, temper and impulsiveness is what I really like about her in the book.

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    1. Divergent was a likable, but not lovable, book, definitely. The second was a bit more meh, and I still haven’t read the third, lol! Yeah. I loved her badass-ness in book one. :(

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  8. Minus the lack of worldbuilding, Divergent is probably one of my favorite novels ever! (Let’s just say that Insurgent and Allegiant were a complete disappointment to me though…) Anyway, moving on…I’m planning on seeing this one with my family over the weekend, and I’ve heard mostly good things about it, but I’m so sorry to hear it wasn’t as sophisticated as you wanted it to be. Shailene – from the trailer – definitely seems like a talented actress, but it’s a shame that the romance fell flat for you. I agree…if you can’t connect to a romantic interest, the whole romance just falls flat.

    Thanks for sharing though – your honesty is much appreciated! :D

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    1. I’m not a big fan of Divergent, although I’ll admit that I did enjoy the first 2 installments! My friends and cousins really enjoyed this, which only means I’m much too nitpicky, haha!

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  9. Awesome review Aimee, and thanks for the heads up. It’s not out in Australia yet, but hubby and I will be going to see it and I worried that because he hasn’t read the book, he just wouldn’t get it. Now that I’ve got him into reading, I’ll get him to read book one so I won’t have to miss half the movie with running commentary so he’ll know what’s going on.

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  10. It’s a shame that this one didn’t work out too well! I saw that Wendy and Kate enjoyed this one but it looks like everyone is getting mixed reactions. NOt a fan of the casting either.

    Great review, Aimee! <33

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  11. You nailed it, Aimee. I have to say I’d give it a 2.5 or 3 at most but I feel the same way you do. I super loved the book but was a tad bit disappointed with this adaptation. I know people are gonna kill me for saying this but I don’t think “Sheo” was able to live up to the chemistry between Tris and Four in the book. Oh and I agree with you that Will and Al were so hard to distinguish from each other haha! The only aspects that I really loved in the movie was the soundtrack, really!

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    1. High five, girl! I didn’t like “Sheo” at all. Mostly because of Theo, haha! xD Maybe I’ll take a look at some of their photos later and hopefully I can tell who is who! xD

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  12. I liked the movie but found it a little long, and don’t think it has a lot of rewatch value. I’m happy with all the stuff they managed to pack in but still, little details you know? And character similarities… my friend had to ask me twice who was who, ha! I liked Four a lot.. until he started being the love interest. It was like too drastic of a change too fast.

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    1. Yeah. And some of the characters I really liked (like Edward) weren’t in the movie. :( Every scene where someone did something, I had to ask my friend who was who! xD Good thing she watched the movie the night before already. ;) No to Four as the love interest. He was better off as just their coach.

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