In an effort to make up for the fact that I didn’t post anything on Wednesday (I know, I know, for shame!), you guys are getting a double post today! Enjoy!
It’s true, my posts have been a little movie-heavy lately, but there are just so many films to see! After a few relatively dry years (at least in my mind), it seems like 2014 is going to be chockfull of good, or at least interesting, things to see!
Today it was Divergent.
My girlfriend M and I admitted to each other a few weeks ago that we secretly wanted to see the movie, based on Veronica Roth’s book of the same name, and figured we would give our respective boys a break from accompanying us to post-apocalyptic young adult fare, making it a girls’ afternoon out! While I’m not entirely sure what either one of us was expecting, at the end, we both agreed that Divergent was far better than we had anticipated.
For me, the real surprise was Shailene Woodley, who plays Beatrice ‘Tris’ Prior, the central character. Prior to Divergent, I had only seen her in a few episodes of The Secret Life of the American Teenager and while I knew she had gotten good reviews for her turns in The Descendants and The Spectacular Now, I just couldn’t quite picture her as the lead.
However, she more than held her own in the film – playing the innocent, vulnerable Beatrice and the stronger, fearless Tris with equal aplomb. Her transformation from one to the other was also more believable than the one in the book. I even liked her relationship with Four, her Dauntless instructor – one of my other criticisms of the novel. It just seemed to develop a little more naturally in the film, a credit perhaps to the people who wrote the screenplay.
The one complaint I have, if you can really call it that, is that the writers were fairly liberal in their adaptation of Roth’s original tale. While I don’t think the changes necessarily detract from the story, having just read the book, I was very aware of them. And while I understand that some changes need to be made to help a visual representation of a written story flow, there were some alterations that I just didn’t get. The climactic scene in particular was completely different and since it plays a fairly big role in Insurgent, the second book in the series, I’m curious about why the writers adapted it and how it will play out in the next film.
Overall though, Divergent was a fun surprise, and it was a good lesson in not judging a book by its cover, or a movie by its poster.