Before I get into this review, I want to explain that I have not read the divergent book series. I came late to the party and didn’t know about them until I saw the movie! Did I live under a rock? No, I was engrossed by the magical world of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time saga of thirteen books. Yes, thirteen! I am up to number six and I needed a break. Currently, Divergent it is on my never ending To Be Read List and I am determined to get to it because I think that the book would be better than the movie.
What Is It About?
The world is split up into factions in a post-apocalyptic world. Everyone is deemed to have specific personality traits which places them in a certain group of people, this was sought to bring about peace. However, there are people who disturb that peace by being different, who either belong to no faction or are applicable to too many. Tris is a divergent, someone who encompasses the traits of all factions and in order to preserve the peace the ruthless leader of the Erudite faction Jeanine hunts her down. In this battle to save her own life, many of Tris’ friends and family die. What she doesn’t know is that her parents were hiding something inside their house and it has been found by Jeanine which could change the course of history. No one knows why but Tris is the key to opening it.
I will quickly start with what I thought of the first movie Divergent. To be honest, I had great expectations from this movie and it didn’t live up to them. The plot moved way to fast, the scene structure was a little bit disjointed and their love story accelerated from nothing to something in a split second. On the positive side, I thought some moments were very thrilling such as when they had to jump off the roof into Dauntless and flying off the building attached to a couple of cords, and the effects were fantastic.
I went into the movie theatre to watch Insurgent with slight apprehension but also excitement because I had a feeling the writers and directors had learnt their lesson from the first movie. I was absolutely correct in this assumption and I was so glad! Insurgent was wonderful on so many levels.
Firstly, I want to comment on the visual effects and camera angles. With the CGI they stepped up their game and I think that was because they definitely had more to play with particularly in the Dauntless simulation with the floating house. I thought that it was imaginative and seamlessly gone. I felt like the camera angles were more advanced than the previous movie, I watched them thinking that they put a lot of thought into it. Each angle was deliberate to give the most from the scene and create more fear and emotion, for instance, in the scene where Tris and Four had relations. I was a bit apprehensive about it because I knew that it was a YA book and had young teenagers watching it, I felt that seeing it on screen could be teaching them bad things. However, to my delight it wasn’t that bad and was steamy yet tame enough for all audiences.
The costuming was appropriate but I don’t think that they are awesome. Based upon the premise of the books where they all live and dress according to their faction, such as Dauntless and Abnegation I felt like the costume designers recreated this well. I think that the costumes reflect each faction flawlessly, however as there is no classic “rich against poor” there are not real feats of design. The Hunger Games is an excellent example of costume design at its finest.
I like to point out that both Shailene Woodley and Theo James’ performances were extraordinary. I didn’t like their acting in the first movie but I feel like they must be better friends now and this has had a heavy impact on their acting. You could see in their demeanour with each other that they were more relaxed and open. This also made their relationship in the movie more real to me. I felt that Insurgent made Shailene truly worthy of the role she was given, whereas I was unsure of her leaving Divergent. Her acting was superb especially when she was injected with the truth serum, I felt sad for her and also all of the anger she felt in the first half was very realistic.
I’d love to hear what you thought of the movie, was it anything like the book? Did it live up to your expectations?