In Theaters: March 21, 2014
I actually have never written a movie review before. Books, oh yeah! I review those all the time. A movie though…well I wasn’t really sure I was qualified to review those. I don’t have a degree in film studies and most of my opinions on movies are instinct rather then critically based. Nevertheless, I have decided to try my best at reviewing Divergent.
I went to the movie this weekend with my friend Nichole. She had also read the book so we were both excited but also apprehensive. Ever since we had seen City of Bones together (and both disliked it) we had been leery about book to movie adaptations.
Luckily, Divergent pleasantly surprised me. The adaptation followed the book fairly closely. Certain portions of the movie were changed including Tris’s fear landscape, and the role of Peter. These changes though did not take away from my general enjoyment of the film.
I believe I will be in the minority when I say this, but I didn’t like Shailene Woodley. Her portrayal of Tris felt flat. I thought her acting was spot on when Tris was still in Abnegation but as Tris transfers to Dauntless and changes as a person Woodley never changed. Her acting was stiff and at times reminded me of Kristen Stewart’s portrayal of Bella Swan in Twilight. It was a bit dull.
This is in stark contrast to Theo James and his portrayal of Four. I was very critical when he was cast as Four. I didn’t think he met the bill and hadn’t seen his acting so I was a bit worried he wouldn’t be able to pull of the character. My fears were for naught. Theo did a wonderful job. It also doesn’t hurt that he is really nice to look at. In pictures, to me, he isn’t attractive, but on the big screen he is very swoon-worthy. I actually had a discussion, prior to seeing the movie, with Jenna from Jenna Does Books and Amy from Book Loving Me; we talked about how the story itself and the other characters were lost in both the marketing and twitters objectification of Four. That Divergent would have been an equally good movie had Four not been so attractive. I wholly agree with this idea, although Theo being swoony didn’t hurt either.
Overall, I enjoyed Divergent. It was one of the good book to movie adaptations. I wouldn’t say it was in my top 5 recent adaptations or anything but it was entertaining and I do hope the studio makes a movie of Insurgent.