Welcome to my blog where I give my honest opinion of Young Adult Fiction.
Twitter @YAFictionReview

Friday, April 4, 2014

Book to Movie. Rad or Bad? Divergent Edition. Part 1.

On March 22nd I had the privilege of watching the Divergent movie with Lisa @Turning Pages. Here is my thoughts on the movie.

Divergent, based of the successful novel by Veronica Roth, stars Shailene Woodley as Tris and Theo James as Four. This story takes place in a post-apocalyptic Chicago where society is split into five different factions who all value a different human trait. Erudite values knowledge, Candor values honesty, Amity values peace, Dauntless values bravery, and Abnegation values selflessness. The members of society get to choose which faction they will live in after they take an aptitude test at the age of 16. Abnegation born Beatrice Prior (Woodley) finds out that she is Divergent during her aptitude test, meaning she belongs to more than one faction. Divergence can get you killed. Beatrice must then decide where she belongs and attempt too survive.

Beatrice (Tris) Prior: 
 I tried as hard as I possibly could to keep an open mind for Shailene Woodley as Tris. I have not been a huge fan of hers before so I didn't to judge her on her past performances. I am so glad that I kept an open mind because she NAILED it. The moments of uncertainty where there and the moments of hard will and determination. 

Four: Theo James. Oh Theo James. We all know he's gorgeous. I mean look at him.
 #Melting. But other than his physical appearance, his acting was ON POINT. He was soft when he needed to be, and tough when it was required. All in all Theo James was AMAZING as Four. 
Also one of my favorite parts of the movie involved Four. During the Ferris Wheel scene after Tris says they need to go higher Four mutters "Fuck" under his breath. It was honestly one of the funniest things I have ever watched. 

KATE WINSLET! I bow to you for being five months pregnant while you filmed this! But Janine felt as cold and calculating as I imagined. While she was introduced early on at the choosing ceremony instead of just randomly, I felt that it was a good change. They needed to show who Janine was before establishing her as the villain of the story. It was a good change. She was hard a ruthless and I can't wait to see what happens in Insurgent! EEK! 

 Christina was kind of underplayed in the movie. In the book, she is really the one to show Tris the difference between Abnegation and the other factions, she's her FIRST friend. Probably ever. And in the movie their relationship just didn't seem that important. Also after Tris spends her first night at Four's room (After the fight with Peter) Tris shows up wearing Fours sweatshirt. This is the conversation that follows...

"Is that your shirt?" -Christina

"No." -Tris

END OF CONVERSATION. Like hello, your best friend just showed up at breakfast, after being out all night, wearing some random ass dudes shirt and you don't think to ask who's shirt it is? Come on! If I were in Christina's shoes it would be an interrogation. Like "Whose shirt is that?" "Where were you all night" "What were you doing?" "Who were you doing it with?" "Is he hot?" Be a girl for like two seconds. ;)
First off, I love Miles Teller. I really do. I haven't seen a movie of his that I didn't like his acting. And I still loved him as Peter. One thing that I thought the movie guys did great was that they showed Peter as a bully/villain before the Dauntless compound. However I do believe that they took some of the maliciousness away from Peter. There was no butter knife scene, less bullying. Yes whenever they shot him (real bullets or not) I still found joy in his pain, but I was disappointed at how underplayed Peter was. When Peter was an asshole, he was a real asshole though.
 The main purpose Will serves is being a catalyst for the rift between Christina and Tris in Insurgent right? Well that can't happen if its not obvious that Christina and Will are together. you kind of saw them together and could deduce what was happening but it was never stated outright. I felt as thought Will was being treated as a throwaway character. On the other hand I was glad that it didn't take away from the main relationship of Tris and Four. 

Ansel Elgort <3 You ;) I've only seen him play a jock before so seeing him go from that to the braniac of Caleb was great. I applaud his character choices, especially how he runs. When you see it make sure you look for that. But I felt as though Caleb was just who he was supposed to be. A little slimey, brainy, and a good older brother. (Direct book quotations for the win!)
Again, underplayed. Al's whole arc was kind of taken down a notch, or two. The attraction to Tris wasn't there, the desperation for passing wasn't there. The assault on Tris kind of came out of nowhere. 

 You saw that Eric was a bully, and kind of an asshole. Which was really his entire purpose for this book. The tension between Four and Eric was not explained and frankly not even in the movie. The rivalry was not present. I see why it didn't make the cut but as a loyal book fan I wish every important subplot could have been in the movie. But then the movie would have been like six hours long. But he certainly did look menacing, that's for sure. Dig his eyebrow piercing.

Okay this was one that I was really not okay with. As many of you probably know, Uriah was not in the movie. At all. His character was going through initiation but was never seen on screen. The makers of the movie gave an explanation saying that Uriah would not have a lot of screen time in Divergent so they didn't want to cast a big name actor that would only be used for a few days. On the flip side they didn't want to cast a smaller actor that could not handle the demand of the role during Insurgent, where (hopefully) Uriah will have a bigger part to play in the plot. 

I felt as though Uriah was a big part of Tris' introduction to Dauntless. He is there to show her the ropes and really be the first person to accept her. I felt like Tris being a part of the Dauntless life was just not present during the movie.

Initiates: Since the book was turned into a movie and had to cut down on a lot of subplots we missed quite a few of the other initiates. Edward was not in the movie. So the whole thing with the butter knife was not there. This also led to Peter not being seen as crazy or psychotic as he was in the book. Also  Molly, Drew, and Myra had nothing to do with the plot. Myra wasn't even in the movie. Neither was Robert or Susan, Beatrice's Abnegation neighbors. 


I really did enjoy this movie. I thought it was very well done. Yes, some parts were missing and some were changed but overall the integrity of the book remained intact. I loved it and probably will see it again. I can't wait for Insurgent to come out! Film fast everyone!
-Shawnee Smith

No comments:

Post a Comment