Review: Divergent

Divergent_PosterAfter a slew of young adult book-to-film adaptations essentially crashed and burned, it’s finally time for “The Hunger Games” to make some room because the quality of “Divergent” justifies all of the hype and gives the film a solid shot at becoming a successful franchise-starter, too.

The story takes place in a future Chicago in which society is divided up into five factions based on core values. The Abnegation place precedence on selflessness, Erudite believe intelligence is of the utmost importance, Dauntless pride themselves on bravery, Amity on peace and Candor on honesty. Beatrice Prior (Shailene Woodley) is a member of Abnegation, but that could change come the Choosing Ceremony. Even though she was born into that faction, it’ll ultimately be her decision what kind of life she wants to lead. Does she stick with her family or follow her gut? The Aptitude Test is supposed to help with that, but in Beatrice’s case, it only makes the choice more difficult because she didn’t test positive for just one faction, but rather three. Beatrice is Divergent.

Even if you’ve only seen a single trailer for “Divergent,” it’s quite clear that it’s a tricky scenario to explain. Some story components get lost in the mix, but the screenwriters do manage to convey the basics in a dynamic fashion. The film opens with Beatrice running through the preliminary details via voiceover, but soon enough, they’re paired with the appropriate visuals, and, much quicker than one might expect, you’re consumed by this world and ready to start exploring the details of the situation, and then Woodley takes it from there.

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