Twilight, The Hunger Games and now Divergent. The next teen saga has reached the big screen, but by this stage have we already seen it all, is Divergent capable of being memorable or standing out in this crowded genre? I was intrigued by the concept and figured that this would be worth a watch much like the Hunger Games films, I probably won’t revisit them however I was able to enjoy them when I watched.
From the get go Divergent does strike a remarkable resemblance to the Hunger Games series. From the different factions to the day in which you chose your faction it reminded me distinctly of the different districts and the reaping from Suzanne Collins fictional universe. Similarly again to the first Hunger Games film Divergents main issue was a slow start. The majority of the film is taken up with the main character, Tris, training and being tested for acceptance into the faction of her choice. Although some of these scenes are entertaining far too long is devoted to them and because of this it seems that the story is fairly weak and one-dimensional. Once the uprising begins the film quickly gains pace, a shift of the balance of time would have given this film a much better all round finish, but instead the viewer gets very little screen time for clearly the most exciting part of the story.
Kate Winslet has commented how much she enjoyed playing a villain in this movie, unfortunately Winslet may be the most unmemorable villain in a long time, long story short she needed to be more of a bitch. In films I like to hate the villain, the strength of the villain can even strengthen the hero! This wasn’t the case here and it was a shame because I don’t doubt that Winslet could play a fantastic villain, it was the characters weakness that was the issue here. Veronica Roth the author of the novel that this movie is based on may have failed in this aspect of her writing however she has excelled in many others, as there were aspects of this story that were great. The whole theme of fear was a fantastic one and it was always interesting to see what characters feared the most and how they would deal with it. In terms of the film, there were a few good action sequences such as the capture the flag scenes and when the uprising begins, these do help to compensate from the slow pace in other sections and were entertaining.
Ultimately Divergent is your standard teen fiction, but as many other before it, it really was quite enjoyable and surprisingly so as it makes its appearance a number of years after the leaders of this genre. Divergent was a success and was helped by the accompaniment of a brilliant soundtrack, was great to hear so much Ellie Goulding – it really did suit and set the tone of the movie.
BIGGEST FLAW – Allocation of time
BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT – Some interesting themes presented
Rating – 8/10