Starts April 10, 2014
Directed by: Neil Burger
Writing credits: Evan Daugherty, Vanessa Taylor, Veronica Roth novel
Cast: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Kate Winslet
Length: 139 minutes
“I can't belong to groups. I've tried. I behave normally, but people don't look at me normally”, but what seems to be just human insecurity, even for people like actress Jeanne Moreau, turns out to be a deadly dilemma in Divergent. In future Chicago, the population has been divided into five factions that are each in charge of different aspects of society. Tris Prior (Woodley) is now sixteen and will have to choose if she wants to stay in Abnegation, the selfless who take care of the government and the poor, or if she wants to join a different faction and therefore leave her family forever. A test is supposed to help her with that decision. Unluckily, her test happens to be inconclusive. Being a “divergent”, she must now make her own choice. She chooses Dauntless, the warriors who keep peace and guard the city. Very soon, she discovers that she is not the only divergent and that the divergent are being hunted. Together with Four (James), her mysterious instructor, she must now fight for her survival and possibly also for the existence of the society as she knows it.
“Defiance of categorization is a beauty that we can’t afford”, states the villain of the story, Jeanine (Winslet), keeping up the great hope of communism that society will be perfect as soon as human nature is organized and tamed. Unsurprisingly, history repeats itself and it turns out that repression of free will and choice only leads to tyranny on a personal and social level. And where there is oppression, there is also rebellion. So Tris and Four take their place in history claiming the privilege of making their own choices, which leads to a predictable and nevertheless entertaining plot. I actually liked the film better than the book because it got rid of some plot lengths. I could have gotten bored by another classic of current young adult literature: the super handsome, mysterious and badass-hero and the more spirited than beautiful heroine, but the main characters were credible and the portrayal of the dystopian world was executed well. ( )