This week was an exciting weekend which included watching Divergent; bed shopping at IKEA; my phone dying henceforth losing my only source of how to find my way back home, which lead to an almost two hour excursion of the Big D. Sunday was even more fun as I arrived just in the nick of time for a half marathon. Today or in the near future I am going to be investing in some adult size Lincoln Logs/Legos/puzzle piece action. I probably should hire an expert, but it will be more exciting if (with the help of some family members) I attempt to correctly build my bed. One could call it divergent. Okay, please do not cringe. I am only segueing into my next topic like any good writer should do.
Divergent means different, and the Divergent movie definitely lived up to its story. I must admit I was a little worried. Although I love the Hunger Games series a whole lot more, I read the first book Divergent in a day in a half. The factions, fear landscapes, simulations, heroine, and the lack of a love triangle all intrigued me. When I heard there was going to be a movie, I was a little excited, but then as I started to read some of the mixed reviews, I became hesitant. I shouldn’t have the read the reviews. Critics kept complaining about a distinction to a MOVIE I WILL NOT NAME. Honestly, Divergent is part of a certain genre of movies, so it is no surprise that it has certain distinct elements (Has anyone noticed the alarmingly amount of superhero movies that have come out and have had the same exact plot? I still enjoy some of them anyway). Yet, here is how Divergent stands apart.
- It stays true to the story. Fans can breathe a sigh of relief because all the key events of the story were right on. They changed and left out parts, but I think it made the movie a whole lot better. The training scenes were very cool. Intense. Wince inducing. Honestly, if they really hit the way they did in the movie, I am surprised there was not a lot more black and blue faces and arms. The fear landscapes or simulations or landscapes were also pretty amazing. They were way better than what I imagined and now I officially believe I could never go through one. No wonder a lot of initiates went crazy. Fear landscapes are no picnic basket date, that’s for sure.
- Great Acting. It was cast very well. The actors obviously really cared about this movie and had great chemistry together. Literally the way they interacted with each other was like a well-oiled machine. Shailene Woodely as Tris and Theo James who plays Four fit into their characters like a pair of gloves (Okay, please apologize the figurative language comparisons. After fully immersing myself in attempting to explain figurative language to 6th graders, I was the one who ended up comparing everything and anything.) A lot of other great actors are starring in this movie as well (Kate Winslet aka Titanic damsel and for all those Scandal lovers, the president plays Tris dad)
- Music Soundtrack – I am not really going to explain this. I think it might be more of a personal opinion. One has to hear to believe it.
- A rainbow of themes – There are a lot of teenage books out there, but when it comes to promoting positive ideals, not so much. Divergent, the book, goes the distance and the movie follows suit. In fact, I think the movie downplays the somewhat gooey romance this time around and sticks with the themes. There is a whole list. Facing your fears, standing up for what is right, independence, perseverance, the idea of good intentions/morals becoming extreme unhealthy versions of themselves, and my favorite—sacrificial love. Tris and a few of those close to her do a lot of sacrificing. Yes, there is the typical lovey romance, but therein lies a deeper message about valuing life and loving everyone around you.
Conclusion – I say be dauntless and watch this movie at least once. It was a good movie. I will be watching it a few times, but I am a small fan of a least the first book. I have extra admiration for the series, because the author is barely out of college. I admire her guts, creativity, and well . . . everything. One day I hope that the author and her heroine’s work ethic rubs off on me and I write my own story. Maybe. One day. For now I am off to put in grades.