It’s safe to say that the book, 9 times out of ten, is always better than the movie. “Divergent” the movie, came remotely close, with fans of the book series being most likely pleased, while people who didn’t read the series may be heading straight to the nearest book store after the credits start rolling.
In a world where the population is split into factions by character types: Abnegation, Erudite, Dauntless, Amity, and Candor, Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley) is classified as Divergent; meaning she can’t be controlled. When she uncovers a conspiracy to get rid of all Divergents, she teams up with Four (Theo James) to find out why people are so frightened of them.
The book series had such a way of capturing its readers, and the movie tried its best to do the same. The first half of the film was spot on to the book but by midway it seemed to go downhill as the film didn’t capture crucial scenes from the text (you can figure out which ones those are) and missed certain details that made the story so unique. But the special effects were very well done and you could really see the story come to life on the big screen.
Woodley broke out of her Secret Life of an American Teenager shell, as she played such a strong, dominate and lively role as Tris. It was nice to see her a bit out of her element and this new side of Woodley is definitely something to look out for. Then there is Theo James, oh what else can I say about James except the obvious: He is a heart throb. Being somewhat of a stranger to the big screen, starring in small roles and landing a lead role on Golden Boy on CBS, which was cancelled after the first season, James now has taken the movie world by storm, and there is no questioning how many young girls will be obsessed with him now; I know I am.
Kate Winslet put on a satisfactory performance as antagonist Jeanine Matthews, leader of the Erudite. She seemed to be trying a bit too hard to be “evil” and whenever she spoke all I could hear her say was “Never let go Jack, never let go.” I know, I know, I shouldn’t relate her to “Titanic” since that was a movie she starred in at such an early stage of her career, yet whenever she left a scene all that played in my head was Titanic’s theme song, My Heart Will Go On. Winslet should stick to roles that allow her to be more corky and fun rather than badass; Woodley has got that covered.
Even though the movie didn’t quite capture the true essence of the book series it still was a suspenseful action packed film that is definitely sequel-ready. They say never judge a book by its movie, but have they ever said never judge a movie by the book?