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Categories: Movie Reviews

Juggy Sohal reviews Neil Burger’s latest movie Divergent…

With a variety of films stemming from novels taking over the big screen in recent years from the Twilight series to The Hunger Games, the big question was if there was enough room for the film adaptation of the best selling Veronica Roth novel Divergent?

Director Neil Burger does a excellent job of bringing these characters and Roth’s vision to life in this science-fiction action movie, that has surpassed expectations and become a worldwide smash.

The story plays out in a dystopian future set in Chicago, where everyone is subjected into factions based on different human virtues. Beatrice ‘Tris’ Prior is of age to be able choose which faction she wants to live under. However as she undergoes a test to determine which group she would best fit, she is classed as an divergent, harbouring characteristics for three of the factions.

Tris submerges herself into Dauntless (known as the brave) life and there she proves she has what it takes. Along the way she meets one of Dauntless’ leaders, Four, who emerges as more then just an ally for her. Tris soon uncovers a devious plot brewing in her already complex society and realises she could be the only person to save the lives of her family.

Divergent brings excellent performances from Shailene Woodley, who excels in her emotionally charged lead role of Tris, while Theo James compliments her dramatics perfectly with a polished performance of male lead the mysterious Four. Kate Winslet strays away from her usual roles as she does a turn as the villainous Eurodite leader Jeanine giving a convincing portrayal, sadly her character is underused. divergent

The plot is a strong one and initially starts as a slow-burn then develops into more fast paced action as the story progresses with a few twists but suffers with being compared to more successful trilogies that have occupied this science-fiction genre in the past. The Hunger Games reigns far more superior and naturally both films are going to draw comparisons having similar elements, such as the challenge sequences and them both being set in dystopian universe.

However the love story in Divergent delivers much more passion, with Four protecting Tris igniting what will hopefully be a thrilling storyline throughout the trilogy.

As a standalone movie Divergent is top class, with a good story enhanced by great performances but when you compare it to other film series that have captured much more hysteria, it appears somewhat lacklustre. However it does have the potential to go from huge to stratospheric and with a sequel being commissioned it might just do that.

Posted on Jun 6, 2014

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