Divergent, directed by Neil Burger is a 2014 young adult film adaptation of the popular novel of the same name, starring Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Miles Teller, Jai Courtney, Maggie Q, Ansel Elgort, Zoe Kravitz, it takes place in a dystopian Chicago in the near future, society has been divided into big sections based on human personality traits, Dauntless, Abnegation, Amity, Candor and Erudite.
And while society is seemingly normal and perfect, there’s a big divide in society as a whole and inequality is rife, plus who wants to be pigeon holed into a section of society and told you have to be a certain way (allegory for being a teenager and being told what to do anyone?), the premise is quite intriguing but does sort of unravel as the story goes on and not in the best way. The cast is quite good but probably spread a bit too thin, with Woodley and James being the stars of the show as Tris and Four, the main characters and soon to be lovers, their relationship is believable but not quite that compelling and feels a bit shoehorned in.
The rest of the story besides Tris and Fours’ relationship is decently interesting as Tris finds her place in society, eventually ending up in the Dauntless faction, the wildcats of society who pride themselves on being fearless, spontaneous and wild, scenes with Dauntless are quite fun and you do get a feel that they’re a bunch of adrenaline junkies, though it’s portrayed in a cheesy way. The cast does decently in the film to make it fairly enjoyable and to convey that feeling of a group of teenagers finding their place in their respective factions, Dauntless in this case who are pretty ruthless on their ‘weaker’ subjects, people play off well with each other and Miles Teller as Peter is well cast in a role where he seems to play a slightly heigtened Miles Teller.
Divergent sort of loses its’ way with the direction of the plot for me as the film doesn’t really get better as it goes along, it follows a logical path following Tris and her being so shell shocked trying to fit in Dauntless, but that all feels a bit pointless by the end of the film. The wider conspiracy underlining the film and the world itself is far more interesting than the separate factions functioning as they do an the mystery is only touched on properly way near the end, that being said the set pieces in the film are decent enough and the action is alright.
Divergent is a decently made film with a good cast but with a rather average plot that doesn’t really go anywhere to make it a memorable enough or outstanding young adult film, though going by the average YA film it’s probably a bit better than most.
. Interesting premise that doesn’t quite go to that many interesting places
. Has some colourful characters, not all developed that well or at all
. Some set pieces are thrilling, most not so much