Estimated reading time: 2 minutes
Peter: You wouldn’t shoot me.
Beatrice ‘Tris’ Prior: Why do people keep saying that?
[shoots Peter in the arm]
Divergent (2014) is the first installment in a series of three movies based on a trilogy of young adult novels (“The Divergent Series”). It takes place in a future, post-world-war Earth where a bunch of people have fenced themselves inside a city and then segregated each other into five different factions, because that’s what apparently works best for them. Every person in society must fit into one of these factions.
There’s a test which every person takes that decides which faction would be the best fit for them, and, after taking this test, our heroine Tris finds out she doesn’t fit into just one faction. Oh snap! She is “divergent”. So instead of being hunted down and killed for not conforming to her society’s strict standards (you see where this movie’s going already, don’t you?) she opts to hide her true nature and join the Dauntless faction, a bunch of warrior teenagers trained to maintain order in the city.
The rest of the movie centers around
Katniss’ Tris’ training followed by a bunch of teenagers killing each other while our heroine tries to find her true place in an extremely dangerous world.
This movie is formulaic, to say the least. The story is predictable, you can see the twists and turns coming from a mile away, and it follows in the footsteps set by The Hunger Games and Twilight when it comes to teen angst and a romantic interest that’s “broken on the inside”. The Bruiser with a Soft Center trope still seems to be alive and kicking, and this movie makes extensive use of it. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with the trope, of course, but it tends to make it all a bit too predictable.
For a movie that’s about being different, it sure doesn’t try to be different and instead delivers the exact plot they know will sell to teenage girls who can’t find a “faction” of their own.
With that said, I actually enjoyed the movie and I can’t complain about the morale of the story. Sure there were some gaping plot holes (like why would a divergent get a tattoo that basically screams “I’m divergent” in a world where divergents are hunted and killed?), but overall the story kept me interested and the acting was surprisingly on point.
Additionally, I freakin love movies in which a hero or a heroine make a complete 180 from wuss to badass, and Divergent delivers that, and then some. Tris goes from random girl who doesn’t look at mirrors because that’s selfish, to kicking so much ass it would make Katniss rethink her volunteering to the games.
I watched this movie without knowing what I was getting into and I was pleasantly entertained. Will I be watching the sequel, Insurgent? Yes… yes, I will.