Clearly aimed at teens and young adults, Divergent is a science fiction adventure story about conformity, the importance of individuality and the philosophy of maturity.
In a post apocalyptic world where people are categorised into one of five factions in an effort to keep peace, Tris (Shailene Woodley), like all teens, must take an aptitude test to determine which faction she best suits, and at a coming of age ceremony, must choose one of the factions which she will become a member of for the rest of her life. The only problem is that she is unsure of who she is, and the test result in inconclusive.
Tris must now try her best to fit into the faction of her choice, which doesn’t always come naturally.
Even if you don’t really like dystopian future films, there were enough good ideas here to make a handful of decent movies. And as you watch Divergent, you will be reminded of many of them that you’ve already seen.
The setup was reasonable, if not a little predictable, but the story really suffered from a meandering second act that lacked flow and failed to build momentum. There were times when it wasn’t obvious where, or indeed if, it was going to end.
CGI heavy but otherwise unremarkable, the photography was nothing special and the directing deserves no merit.
Films of this type generally try to circumvent the need for good performances by filling the screen with pretty people. But for a few exceptions, Divergent is no different.
Woodley’s performance as a very well being centred girl daring to dive into army training was believable and well portrayed: Library chick goes to boot camp.
And Kate Winslet’s villain, in the couple of scenes in which she featured, managed to gain a bit of gravity.
The story may speak to young adults and the moral of the story, if you can dig it out from all the chatter, is genuinely true; but aside from that, Divergent is neither original nor entertaining.