Friday, 11 April 2014

Kendal's Column: Divergent- a movie review.


In Tris' world, you fit into one of five, but what happens when you don't fit the mold?

Rating: Thursday
In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.
During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, Tris also learns that her secret might help her save the ones she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

A week ago today, Divergent officially hit cinemas worldwide. I went to see it opening night and again on the 5th (because i have so many friends *hair flip*-I joke of course). I think this was actually good for me because the first time i got to be 100% 'ohmergawd i have been waiting for this since i read the book' excited and just watch it and the second time round i was able to be more judgemental about the films content and how faithful the adaptation was to the book.

Divergent is one of my favorite dystopian novels rivalling the hunger games. They both have ratings of 4.4 (rounded. Divergent 4.36, The Hunger Games 4.44) on Goodreads which is a achievement in itself and, currently, tris is beating katniss in the hashtag vote for the MTV movie awards (side note: Mockingjay Part 1 Teaser is expected during the ceremony) so it's fair to say that i went into my first showing wanting it to be really fabulous and really faithful to the book and it really was- srsly guys, 11/10.

The first shot is of dystopian Chicago and it looks beautiful in a eerie kind of way and the film starts with Tris voicing over how society came to split into the five factions.
I think that they did a really good job of giving the context of the novel and explaining WHY people thought the faction system was the answer because it also provided a way of introducing Tris.
The first few scenes of the movie are really faithful to the novel and they even had the first scene from the book as the actual scene.
I feel the presentation of the factions was brilliant AND LET US TALK ABOUT DAUNTLESS. 
For those who haven't read the book, dauntless is the badass faction who stand for bravery and they take every opportunity to show just how brave they they don't just get on a train, they JUMP on and off.
Tris is waiting to go in for her test (to tell her which faction the system thinks she should be in) and dauntless show up, jumping off trains and such, and their music starts pumping (which is basically drums) and all i want to do is start running with Dauntless and go jump on trains and punch stuff- YEAH DAUNTLESS
...and this feeling carried on throughout the WHOLE film.
I kid you not, I got out and turned to my friend and said 'Hey, do you wanna go for a run? i feel like running, lets run' (sidenote: this was at 11 at night).
Anyone who has read the book KNOWS that the story is the most high-octane-roller-coaster-adrenaline-rush ever and the film is almost too faithful to that.

From the trailer(s) i was actually kind of worried that Shailene Woodley wasn't the right choice for Tris because Shailene seemed too...nice(?) but, then again, they don't call it 'acting' for nothing and Shailene, without a shadow of a doubt, proved that she was the best choice for Tris.
Moreover, Theo James' accent was covered nicely in the films whereas in the trailers his accent seemed to waver between british and american and he delivered flawless Four.

However, there is one plot point in the book that the film misses out completely which I didn't actually notice until my second time seeing it (I put this down to having read the first book over a year and a half ago) but the plot still worked and, what they missed out, I can forgive.

Overall, I feel that the movie adaptation of one of my favorite dystopian books was amazing. I feel like it rivals catching fire in faithfulness to the plot and would gladly watch it again.

Happy Friday!

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