Dystopian movie lives up to expectations


One choice can define everything.

This month, Veronica Roth’s popular young adult book trilogy was adapted for the big screen with the opening title “Divergent.”

The story is set in futuristic, post-war Chicago, where an interconnected system of roles and practices have replaced the present-day system, which has been blamed for the destruction and death of the past. The people of this time have broken out into different factions where certain beliefs are valued over others. Erudite values intelligence and learning; Candor, honesty; Abnegation takes in those of a selfless heart; Amity, the peaceful and Dauntless is only chosen by people willing to reject fear and embrace bravery. Each faction has a specific role to play in this precise, yet fragile, system, and each year the teenagers who have come of age take an aptitude test that tells them which faction they belong in.

However, some people’s tests don’t turn out to be so simple. These people cannot be tested accurately because they do not fit into any predetermined category. These people threaten the faction system. These people are Divergent.

Enter Beatrice “Tris” Prior, a generally well-behaved Abnegation girl with a secret admiration for the death-defying bravery and theatrical flair of the Dauntless. When her test results come up as inconclusive, she has to choose between burying herself in the sheltered Abnegation life with her family or choose to be brave, picking the Dauntless life she’s always craved. Her choice will change everything.

My choice to see the movie was not quite as difficult. I had been awaiting the date since the movie adaptation was announced. When I found out that the humble town of Duncan, Okla., was not showing “Divergent” until the day after the premier, I was not deterred. In fact, it was a great excuse to travel to the Moore Warren Theatres because I got to see the movie in IMAX, with a screen twice the size as the local Carmike’s.

While I was excited, there was also a certain amount of doubt in the back of my mind — doubt that the movie could live up to the book counterpart. However, from the moment the opening credits rolled, I knew I would not be disappointed.

The first quality I noticed that contributed to the success of the movie was the perfect casting. Shailene Woodley (Tris) is now my favorite actress, and she embodied her role completely. Her Co-star Theo James (Four) proved my initial doubts wrong; he truly is the perfect Four. Other stand-outs include Ansel Elgort (Caleb Prior) and Kate Winslet (Jeanine Matthews).

The soundtrack isn’t something I would listen to by itself. In fact, when I listened to it before seeing the movie I wasn’t very impressed. However, in the theatre, it was expertly matched to the action and mood of “Divergent.” A good movie soundtrack isn’t that noticeable; it should blend in with the film and only be used to create additional emotion in the viewer.

The IMAX Experience allowed me to be fully emerged in the movie. I could feel my heart beating with the characters as if I was there with them.

The movie expertly depicted the “Divergent” world in a way I couldn’t even imagine. While reading the book, I kept thinking that it was written to become a movie, and I was proved right again and again. Every scene just extended my knowledge and love for the world Roth created.