I was initially doubtful that this movie would be any good, but I actually enjoyed it immensely and would definitely go see it again.
Veronica Roth's Divergent is actually my favorite book, so I was very hesitant to watch the movie in fear that it might ruin the magic of the books for me. I'm so glad that I decided to take a chance on the movie because the film adaptation turned out to be, I feel, a true and honest representation of the book.
When the cast of Divergent was announced last year, I had doubts about the movie as everyone who was cast was very different from what I had imagined the characters to be. However, after seeing the movie, I can't see the cast being any different. Shailene Woodley, who plays the protagonist 16-year old Beatrice Prior, did an exceptional job. She portrayed every aspect of Tris perfectly—her bravery, her fears, her selflessness. Shailene brought Tris to life.
Usually with movies I tend to remain impartial to the characters, however, with this movie it was shot in such a way that I could see and feel everything Tris was going through. In the book, I was nervous when Tris jumped off the train, but in the movie I was probably as terrified as Tris was. I mean, that gap between the train and the building was huge.
The book is enthralling, and the movie itself is admittedly even more riveting. It's not often that a movie over two hours long is able to hold my attention the whole time, and with Divergent, I was holding on to the edge of my seat the whole time. Every part in the book that was heart-pounding was, I think, even more riveting in the movie.
The only minor problem I had was that the romance and action were amped up a little too much. The thing about the book Divergent that made me love it so much was that it wasn't just another YA dystopian. It's a story about a girl who learns in her journey that to be brave isn't to be reckless or daring, but to have enough willpower to stand up for what you believe in, to hold yourself together when everyone expects you to fall apart. I feel like in this movie, as with many other screen adaptations of YA novels, they tend to focus so much more on the romance and action than the true message behind the story. Divergent has a beautiful and strong message that we can all learn from, and I wish they'd focused more on that. The tension between Four and Tris was definitely there, but the romance was overdone and started to feel a little cheesy. *cough cough Four's tattoo scene*
Another point I really liked about the movie was the music. Usually songs from soundtracks are played in the credits or just released as a separate album, but in Divergent the songs were used in the movie. I loved this, and the songs were perfect for the scenes (except for one where it just felt cheesy). Junkie XL's score, executive produced by Hans Zimmer (Pirates of the Carribean) was beautiful as well. I can't decide which song from the score is my favorite. They all captured the mood of the scene so well. It felt like my ears were eating Nutella or something. Seriously, the score made my ears feel like they were at a 5-star all-you-can-eat buffet or something.
Well acted, gripping, terrifying and yet sanguine, the film adaptation of Divergent impressed me so much more than I thought it would. The cinematography, acting, soundtrack, and score brought the book to life and kept me on the edge of my seat. It was almost like I was reading Divergent again for the first time. I can't wait to see the next installment, Insurgent, in theaters next year.
Have you watched Divergent? What did you think?