I did not read Divergent (Veronica Roth) the book first. Divergent (2014 PG-13) the movie is well done, with lovely actors, amazing sets, and lots of action and intrigue. But I kept questioning the premise.
In the future, there was a terrible war and now the survivors have created a utopia in walled city (Chicago) by dividing the population up by their aptitudes and values. So, if you are kindhearted and selfless, you live with the Abnegation faction and help people. If you are brave, you are Dauntless, the wild and risk-taking protectors of the citizens. If you are Erudite, you are smart and work as a scientist or teacher. If you cannot tell a lie and value the truth, your are a Candor, and work as a lawyer. Those who value peace above everything are the Amity, and live as smiling hippy-style tenders of the farms.
Now for my questions:
1. People marry inside their faction and raise their children with their values until the children are 16, when they chose which faction to live in the rest of their lives. But what kind of home life must a child have in the always-preparing-for-battle Dauntless faction?
2. How can Amity stay smiling all the time when they do the grunt work for the benefit of everyone?
3. Who are the electricians and plumbers?
4. Do you learn to read and write in your faction, or travel to the Erudite area for school?
5. How can Candor survive without telling those little white lies that keep society polite (I mean, do we really care when we say, “How are you?”).
6. If all the selfless Erudite people live together, how can the other selfish factions keep from stepping on each other to get ahead?
7. Where are the medical facilities for all the injuries that certainly must occur in the Dauntless faction?
If I had read the book, perhaps I wouldn’t have been concerned with such structural questions. So, I’ll just review the movie after you watch the trailer:
Shailene Woodley is the teen, Tris, who finds she doesn’t fit in any faction, which makes her a danger to the system. She is a decent actress, although her speaking voice is the same no matter what the situation or emotion. Did you catch that in the trailer?
Kate Winslet is the leader who believes the the faction system. But how far will she go to maintain it? Winslet doesn’t show much range of emotion, or give much of a glimpse of the evil inside. Perhaps that was intentional.
Theo James is Tris’s trainer once she chooses the Dauntless faction. Is he a good guy, or bad guy? I bet you can guess! But Theo James does act subtly enough to barely show his conflicting emotions, and plays the character well.
If you watch without thinking too much, this is a fun movie!