Verdict: 4 / 5
Veronica Roth’s best-selling novel “Divergent” is a good example of what works in the cinema for teenagers today.
The second part of the dystopian series proved to be more gripping than the first. The film follows on from part one as Tris (Shailene Woodley) and Four (Theo James) lead a rebellion against the power hungry leader Jeanine (Kate Winslet) and the entire government of Chicago.
Director Robert Schwentke used the novel to create a pulse-quickening science fiction film. Tris and Tobias travelled with a small group of allies to Amnity (peaceful faction) to seek refuge after most of their fraction Dauntless (brave) were killed in a mass murder invasion. Jeanine is more paranoid about the divergent threat than ever and has sent her agents to scout out all the Divergents. They, like Tris, are unable to fit into the systemic society (fraction). Jeanine starts conducting experiments on them in an attempt to unlock the mysterious box that Tris’ parents were hiding.
The film centres on Tris, a heroin and misfit in her world. Shailene Woodley gave a convincing performance as Tris especially when she unflinchingly sort after Janine. The romance between Four and Tris is inspirational and adds depth to the emotions of characters. You can’t help but feel moved for their love for each other, especially since they come so close to death. The character development is definitely the driving element of the film. It’s interesting to watch how each character emotionally changes scene by scene. Another element that made the film unique is the production design that went into building each set. Each fraction has its own unique visual identity that made the audience virtually distinguish the emotional state and persona of every scene, from steampunk styles to creepy bright utopias.
The plot is fairly predictable, in that you know which the story is heading. However, the twists and cliffhanger saved this film and made it exciting to watch. I enjoyed being whisked away from one visual surreal world to the next.