Posts Tagged ‘woodley’

Movie Review: Divergent

Oh my word, it’s almost May. Do I have some things to catch up on.

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Starring:
Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Kate Winslet
Director:
Neil Burger (The Illusionist, Limitless)
Rating: M
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Cynical mode activated. Here comes yet another Lionsgate young adult teen novel series stretched into more movies than is necessary for the sake of raking in extra money, following in the footsteps of Twilight and The Hunger GamesBrace yourselves, because Neil Burger‘s Divergent is a post-apocalyptic tale with a female protagonist, a radically restructured dystopian society with distinct costumes that indicate moral allegiance and a bit of romance thrown in. Now where have we seen that before?

Cynical mode deactivated. I was introduced to the Divergent saga (written by the surprisingly young Veronica Roth) much the same way as I was The Hunger Games – an interested sibling and the promise of a “next big thing”. Yes, in a way that makes me a part of Lionsgate’s ideal demographic, who still isn’t over the buzz generated by The Hunger Games – I mean, just look at the first Divergent trailer and compare it to any of the HG ones. But I am a notoriously appalling reader of fiction and yet I got through the first Divergent book relatively painlessly. Why? Because there is more to this series than a checklist of popular modern elements – its themes go deeper – or at least more intimate – than politics, into a more personal ideological space. Its futuristic Chicago is divided into five factions, each one requiring its members to adhere to a single prevailing virtue (Knowledge, courage, selflessness, kindness and honesty respectively). I’d easily recommend the book, for the most part, to anyone interested in its concept. The movie? Not quite as much. It’s certainly watchable, and it gets several things right, but it has issues.

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