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Divergent Movie - Review by Julia, Teen Blogger


Julia's Movie Rating for Divergent 

Divergent-book coverSet in a post-apocalyptic Chicago that is walled off from the rest of the world by a massive rampart, Divergent imagines a society in which the citizens are divided into five factions according to personality. The Abnegation faction, an ascetic class given to self-sacrifice, controls the municipal government. Amity, a community of 'hippie'-like agrarians, work in the fields farming; Candor runs the courts, law, and justice system; and the Erudite pursue scientific advancement as they are scientists, doctors, and researchers. Security is left in the hands of the Dauntless, a group of soldiers so fearless they might better be called the 'Young and the Reckless'.

SPOILER ALERT!

In the movie Divergent, based on the book by Veronica Roth, the actor, Shailene Woodley (The Descendants) plays Beatrice (Tris), a 'lucky' gal  facing imminent danger. Tris is a kid who grew up as a self-effacing and helpful member of Abnegation, the ruling faction in a ruined Chicago. Abnegation, the most unglamorous of the five factions that create modern society, was given the reins of power over the ragtag survivors because its members are selfless helpers. However, Erudite, the brainiacs, are planning a coup d'état led by the fastidious and highly intelligent Jeanine (Kate Winslet). The Erudite have developed a way to control the brawny Dauntless faction. Dauntless is the army assigned to protect the city from the marauding "faction-less" exiles (who may one day lay siege to the city).

When Beatrice undergoes the aptitude test required of all teens to determine which faction is the best reflection of one's true nature, her results are inconclusive. She's got pieces of a few different factions in her, which makes her Divergent or 'dangerous' as thinking for yourself is a naughty thing in this world, apparently. The angsty inner conflict that rages within Beatrice is something to which the target audience for the book (and the movie) surely can relate. At the annual Choosing Ceremony, where the teens use their test results to pick the faction they want to join for the rest of their lives—like in Matched (by Ally Condie), Insignia (by S.J. Kincaid), and Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (by J.K. Rowling)—Beatrice dares to choose Dauntless. This means she can never see her family again. But, it also means she gets to train to unleash the badass that's been lurking inside her all along.

Renaming herself Tris, our heroine must learn how to fight, shoot, jump from moving trains, throw knives and control her mind in a series of harrowing simulations, all while competing against a couple dozen other initiates in a demanding ranking system. Eric (played by an intimidating Jai Courtney) is the merciless Dauntless leader who's taking the faction—which was founded on the notion of noble courage—in a more militant and vicious direction.

But the hunky trainer who goes by the name Four (played by Theo James) is the one who will have a greater impact on the woman Tris will become. Quiet and generally broody at first, James reveals more depth to his conflicted character as the stakes in the story increase. He and Woodley have an easy chemistry with each other, but the romance that took its time and smoldered on the page feels a bit rushed on the screen.Trisof Divergent- drawing by Julia, Teen Blogger

At first I didn’t think Woodley would do a great job portraying Tris, but she proved me wrong, even though her energy feels like it’s a little unfocused and chaotic. Tris surges with strength and fits of ambition but doesn't quite believe in her abilities. Woodley, though, by virtue of the sheer likability of her presence, keeps you hanging on and rooting for her. She may not have the blazing, rock-star power of Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss in The Hunger Games, but there's a subtlety and a naturalness to her performance on the screen that makes her very approachable and appealing.

When she needs to, she can crank it up and kick some butt—as she does in a climactic scene with the antagonist's leader. As you see in the movie, the evil Erudite leader is hell-bent on eradicating the Divergents and maintaining control, which brings a little more tension to the screen and makes a pretty taut thriller. During this climactic scene, Woodley stays true to her role as Tris and doesn’t oversell it. I believe that she is a good role model for the eager adolescent audience as a young woman who's thoughtful, giving and strong—all at once. The inevitable sequel will show us what else she's truly got in her. I'm anticipating the best of our strong heroine in the next part to our three-course meal. 

Favourite Quotes:

Four: What makes you think you can talk to me?

Tris: It must be because you are so approachable.

Julia,

Teen Blogger

Editor's Note: Drawing of Tris and the star rating symbols by Julia.

The Transfer book cover

Also, in e-book format only - see The Transfer by Veronica Roth.

"The first of four new short stories told from Four's perspective. Each brief story explores the world of the Divergent series through the eyes of the mysterious but charismatic Tobias Eaton, revealing previously unknown facets of his personality, backstory, and relationships." ~Discover Catalogue

 

  • The Lie Tree
  • The way he lived
  • A drop of night
  • Thief of lies
  • Defender
  • Character, driven
  • Every young adult's break-up survival guide
  • Hidden gold
  • The heart of stone
  • The last boy and girl in the world
  • The epidemic
  • I see reality
  • Finding Hope
  • Under the Dusty Moon
  • Flawd
  • Dark energy
  • Hot pterodactyl boyfriend
  • Harmony House
  • Burning
  • See no color
  • One of us
  • A tangle of gold
  • It should have been a #GoodDay
  • Beautiful broken things
  • The radiant road
  • Speak a word for freedom
  • When we collided
  • Hit count
  • Fig
  • The beast of Cretacea
  • Essential maps for the lost
  • Queen
  • Exit, pursued by a bear
  • The Raven King
  • Breakaway
  • The forbidden orchid
  • The young adult's guide to public speaking