The highly anticipated film “Divergent” is now showing in area theaters. Comparable to the well-known “Hunger Games” trilogy, this is the first of a series of three books that has been made into a movie. The beginning of the movie starts with the main protagonist, Tris (Shailene Woodley), giving the audience all of the information it needs to understand what is going on in the dystopian world she lives in and about the five factions her city is divided into: the smart Erudite, the brave Dauntless, the honest Candor, the peaceful Amity and the selfless Abnegation. Tris is 16 and must pick the faction she will belong to forever, forgoing any ties with the other factions, including her family. Her choice has a huge impact on not only her but also her society as she tries to survive in a world that rejects and hunts all those who do not fit exactly into their system: Divergents.
While the movie mostly follows the plot of the book, there are some differences such as when new information pertaining to the story plot is offered. It seems as though the audience is given an abundance of information that is either revealed later in the book or not at all. This seems to detract some from the surprises and twists of the story.
In the novel, the secondary characters and minor antagonists that Tris meets and is with for most of the books are more developed. They play an important role in Tris’ emotional state as she adjusts to the changes she is facing and will be significant in later novels. In the movie, however, these characters are not given the amount of time that they are allotted in the book and are easily forgotten. Some of the less important antagonists are either not found in the movie or don’t match their written characters.
One of the best parts of this movie is the casting. Woodley flawlessly embodies Tris, and her expressive face lets us know what she is feeling and thinking throughout the film, something that is usually lost in a book-to-movie translation. Some scenes make you want to cheer her along while others make you want to cry. Her chemistry with co-star Theo James, who plays Four, is perfect and mirrors the books.
As with all series, the first book never fully resolves the main conflict and leaves unanswered questions. The film “Divergent” is just like its written counterpart in that it leaves its audience waiting and wanting to know the ending to Tris’ story.
Rachel Wieclaw is a senior at North Tonawanda High School.