ByMandi McGuire, writer at
I am an eclectic mom of two, gaming enthusiast, and cinephile. I sell tech at Best Buy when I'm not writing about the things I love.
Mandi McGuire

After my first viewing of Insurgent, I made a startling realization walking out of the theater: they changed so much and I didn't even notice!!

When I returned to the theater a week later, after rereading the book so it was all fresh in my mind, I still left the theater satisfied and willing to see it yet again. I respect the fans of the book and understand why they are so upset, but as I've stated before, on the matter of adaptation, its important that we remember to see the movie as simply that: an adaptation. My point of view seems to be pretty radical in this fandom...but then again, I'm a woman in her mid 20's surrounded by a bunch of squealing preteens and highschoolers.

So I've decided to review 3 of the many changes made in Insurgent and give some positive feedback to the writers and crew, who I feel did an amazing job transforming the book into a creative cinematic adventure.

1. What's in the freaking box?!?!?

In the movie, Jeanine's main goal is finding a Divergent strong enough to open a box found in the home of Tris' parents that is said to contain a message from the city's founders, which we find out claims that Divergents are the saviors of the city, not the evil Jeanine sees them as. This is not at all how it happens in the book: Jeanine already knows what the message contains and is determined to keep it hidden. Her main goal in the book is developing a serum strong enough to overcome resilient Divergents.

I love this change. It works very well for the flow of the movies and was very intriguing. I was so invested in what was in the box that I completely forgot I already knew. Veronica Roth herself praised the change during an interview for Hollywood Reporter:

“It’s like they found a way to keep some of my favorite moments: the simulation where Tris fights herself, the simulation where she encounters her mother, the one where she thinks she’s getting rescued but she’s not — all those things are in the same place, happening at the same emotional peak, which really works.”

2. Why is Tris using weapons?!?

For most of the book, Tris is scared to even pick up a gun. She's still really torn up about killing her friend, Will. This sparks a sort of post traumatic stress and she is unable on many occasions to use or even hold a weapon. This change has angered fans of the book, but I see it as continuity for the pace and flow of the movie. While it played to the storyline of the book, I can see why they left it out of the film for time and creative purposes. This is a change I barely payed any attention to.

3. The ending will change how Allegiant Part 1 begins...

After publicly airing the message from Edith Prior to the whole city, the movie ends with an aerial shot of the entire population of the dystopian Chicago migrating to the walls that have kept them for over 200 years. The book ends with the final words of that message.

At the beginning of Allegiant, Evelyn Prior prevents anyone in the city from leaving the confines of the wall for the first few chapters. This raises questions as to how the storyline of the film adaptation will begin. I am actually extremely excited to see how they choose to begin the next movie now. Many people may disagree, but I'm a sucker for a good mystery.

Changes aside, Insurgent kept me on the edge of my seat. Given that I've read the book and knew what was going to happen, I'd say the filmmakers did a wonderful job. Its refreshing to see such creative tweaking in a screenplay adaptation that will mystify viewers that haven't read the books as well as those who have. That's what I, as a moviegoer, look for in film based on literature. If the movie is exactly like the book, why would I see it? That's what the book was for in the first place.


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