Saturday, 12 April 2014

Have To Stop Wearing Mascara To The Cinema | Divergent Movie Review!

Hey all! I've been missing from the blogosphere for a couple of months now because I've been applying for jobs and I've been so caught up with applications and interviews, as well as exam revision (eeek!!) so I've had absolutely no time at all to post anything.

Anyway, I decided to reward myself because all that's over now (well, okay, revision isn't, but come on - I've been working really hard!) so I went to see the Divergent movie this week! I did a review of the book some time last year (click here to see the post), so I thought it only fitting to follow up with the movie review!

For those of you who haven’t read the book/seen the movie, I’ll give you the 411. Divergent is set in the future, in a (yep, you guessed it) dystopian world. But don’t yawn yet. Contrary to popular belief, it is NOT a carbon copy of The Hunger Games – the only similarity is that they’re both set in the future, and have strong female protagonists. Similarity ends there. I mean, there isn’t even a love triangle in Divergent, which is so refreshing. But I digress.

Anyway, the story follows Tris, who lives in this world, where society is made up of 5 factions (Abnegation, Amity, Candor, Dauntless and Erudite), which stand for different traits (Selflessness, Kindness, Honesty, Courage and Intelligence in that order). At 16, everyone undergoes testing to discover which faction they belong to, and then has to choose to leave their own faction and join a new one, or stay with their families. Tris, born into Abnegation, finds that her aptitude test results are inconclusive – she is Divergent and as such, doesn’t fit in any one faction.
She decides to join Dauntless, and has to undergo their grueling initiation process, without arousing suspicion of her status as a Divergent, to claim her place in the faction, and to avoid being thrown out and becoming factionless – a fate worse than death. She has to battle it out with other initiates, and her instructors who continually push them to the limits. Tris is then discovered by her instructor, Four, to be Divergent – and he’s Divergent too. He teaches her how to hide her Divergent side in the final training exercise, because if the Dauntless leaders find out, Tris is as good as dead.
But there’s something bigger at play here – a plot to kill all Divergents (!) and take over control of the government on the part of Erudite (!!) and Tris and Four are caught up in the middle of it.

So, first things first - the way I judge if a movie is good or not, is if I come out of the cinema and do a double take, because I genuinely thought I was in that world. Divergent ticked the box on that one - I was like, "oh - I was at the cinema this whole time" *sad face*.

So here’s a list of the good, bad and the ugly about Divergent :) oh and **SPOILER ALERT**

Jeanine shows up way more in the film than she does in the book.
At first, I wasn't sure if I liked this (I'm the kind that hates it when they change the story too much) but it does give a face to the enemy, so to speak, and makes it obvious who the bad guy is. Also, you really get a sense for how dedicated she is to her "cause" - especially when you see how crazy she is at the end.

Uriah!! Wasn't in the movie - I felt like he played a pretty strong part in the book, so I was a little sad that they cut him out.

The train scenes were just as awesome as they sounded (or read) in the book and the zip-line scene - OMGEEZ blew the book out of the water!!

I literally felt like I was flying - and I love the way they changed it up a little with the whole speeding-the-zip-up bit halfway through!! And the song they played - M83 - I Need You - was so perfect for it! There’s only one word for it – beautiful.
Now, for the fight scenes. They didn't tone them down (win!) and made them really brutal - this just made the whole thing so much more realistic. I was actually wincing everytime Tris or Christina took a hit. However, they didn't put in a scene where Tris beat anyone *sad face* Which just bugged me.
OMG and when Eric puts his hand out to help Christina, I was so expecting him to punch her or something - Jai Courteny was AMAZING as Eric. I was genuinely scared of him throughout the movie.
Christina's Bridge Scene - disappointing. I didn't feel as "aaah omg I hope she doesn't die!" as I did with the book. They could have made this so much more dramatic. Although I did LOVE Zoe Kravitz as Christina - and I liked that she looked a little more rough than most of the other characters. It was just a lot more realistic. 
I was suuper worried they would leave out Capture The Flag scene - it was one of my favourite parts of the book and I was literally over the moon that they left it in. I also loved the way the Tris and Christina team up to get the flag, even though it's Christina who wins in the book. You get to see them being friends, instead of competing initiates. And I loved the way Eric says Tris is out, and then she just jumps on the train anyway and joins the group. I can't remember if this was in the book or not, but I loved it anyway - go Tris!
Obviously, the all-important Ferris-Wheel scene happens too, but it wasn't all that great; they didn’t make Four start the Wheel when Tris gets stuck, so meh.

Back to Jai Courteny though :) I had totally imagined Eric as scrawny and skinny and creepy, but woah, Eric is hot! So attractive, that I don't care that he's the villain. The above lines were just so I had an excuse to put a picture of him here.
Eeeek! His tattooos...
I also wish they'd left the Al-Tris scene in - you know, the one where he sort of tells her he likes her? That would have made the kidnap-suicide scene so much worse - and so much better. The way the film puts it, it's kinda neither here nor there, and I don't really care about Al as much.
The Pit/Area where the boys try to throw Tris into the Chasm - that genuinely looked like a school play set - and I've seen better school sets. 
They just look like painted cardboard boxes stacked on top of each other!! What's up with that??

And I initially hated - hated - Theo James as Four (he just doesn't look like him!) but he kinda grows on you towards the end of the movie. I actually kinda like the fact that he's quite serious throughout the movie though - again, it suits him better. I can’t imagine Theo being all sweet and flirty.
Caleb on the other hand was adorably goofy (the way he runs!!) and the casting was perfect for him!! Although I just can't imagine him betraying Tris in Insurgent. Hmm, can't wait to see that one!

Shailene as Tris was just amazing though! I've never seen her in anything else, but OMG she's my new fave actress! She's just so easy to relate to and she plays Tris so well! Oh and when her mum dies and she's all like "Mom!!" I'll admit I did cry - hence, I have to stop wearing mascara to the cinema, because I just end up crying and come out looking like a panda.
Oh and the scene where she turns the gun on herself and tells Four it's okay - that was AMAZING!! Shailene just pulls you into the scene so well!!
And the way she's all spunky, like "Why does everybody keep saying that?" when she threatens to shoot people and they're like, "You're not going to shoot me". BANG! Yeah, you got that one wrong, Peter.

Maggie Q as Tori - she looked so Dauntless!! I loved her as Tori, and can't wait to see her get a bigger part of the action in the second film. She ended up looking like I had imagined, which is a huge plus, but I wanted to see her maybe a little more emotional when she talked about her Divergent brother, Georgie.
Green hair = so Dauntless
Miles Teller a.k.a Peter. I can't put into words how evil he is - in the book at least. I just didn't get that same pit-of-my-soul loathing feeling from him in the movie. That might have to do with the fact that they cut out his two most important scenes - the butter-knife to the eye and towel-yanking scenes that made him so hateful. And they didn't even really make him responsible for the kidnapping thing – you only really see Al as the one who instigates it!! The only good scene with him in was where he fights Tris, but overall, I think they should have kept him as scheming and icky like in the book.

Now - the Simulation scenes!!
These were done so well! In the beginning, I wasn't so sure with the aptitude testing and the dog, but they got better and better – although, I do think they went through Four's fear landscape too quickly and it was a bit like, let’s get this over and done with already.
I loved the way they did the crow scene out past the city they live in, and also the way Four explains that there's the Dauntless way of going through the fear landscape and the Divergent way, and how to pretend to be Dauntless, so to speak.
Also, when he demands that Tris tell him what her aptitude test result was, and insists she is lying – this stayed true to Four’s character, and does make him a little scarier.
The final simulation/test thing was so well done - the way she's in front of all the Dauntless leaders and has to go through her fear landscape - and I loved the way they added that bit in the end where she has to shoot her family, but you can't tell if it's real or not! That was a little gut-wrenching and scary.

The Ending!!
I'm not sure how I feel about the change to this last scene - i.e. having Jeanine there during the fight etc. It was a bit weird - and she doesn't have to fight Jeanine either, in the book. Although that was a pretty cool scene, and you see the crazy side of Jeanine here too. The Tris-Four fight scene was pretty horrific but really realistic, so ten out of ten for that. And considering you don't actually see Tris being ruthless or winning any fights, I liked that she threw that knife and threatened Jeanine. And then injects her with her own serum!! That was pretty awesome, although, in reality, would Tris and Four really have known how to control her??
My main problem with the end though is this - they don't end up stealing the hard-drive, and it is obvious that Tris and Four weren't running the sim, which is why they go to Candor, to prove they aren't lying in the book. So what's the sequel going to be about??

Overall, I did love the movie – I would give it a Preppy Girl rating of 9/10 and it only missed out on the big one-oh because of the poor “Pit” set and the lack of danger in Christina’s bridge scene.  I would definitely recommend it to anyone who’s into dystopian-style stories, but I would say read the book first, so you get the full experience.

Over and out :)

p.s. go to the cinema and watch it. Asap.  

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