Home Entertainment ‘Divergent’ Film Outshines the Book

‘Divergent’ Film Outshines the Book

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Starring: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Kate Winslet

Running Time: 139 minutes

3 out of 5 stars

Heads up: This is the first time I have ever suggested not reading a book and just watching the movie. As a lover of books, I’m shocked at myself. But heed my advice.

In a utopian society where everyone is split up into factions based on human virtues, Tris finds herself in danger when she is labeled as “divergent.” Joining the Dauntless faction—known for bravery and for being a tad crazy—Tris learns of a plan to overthrow her home faction of the Abnegation and the desire to exterminate all divergents. Tris and her Dauntless mentor, Four, must find a way to stop the violence and survive.

I’ll be honest; coming into this movie I didn’t have the highest of standards. I read the book a few months ago and I was not impressed. At all. Divergent was a book that I could easily walk away from and it had no effect on me at all once I finished the story—not exactly high praise for a novel. But I figured they couldn’t make the story any worse by putting it on the big screen. If anything, they would improve the story. And you know what? That’s exactly what they did.

While reading the book, I had zero emotional connection to the main character, Tris. Honestly, I don’t think I would have shed a tear if she came into harm’s way and didn’t make it out alive. I would’ve been very “meh” about her death, shrugged it off, and moved onto another book. But the movie? Ah, now that’s where the big improvement comes in. Shailene Woodley made me like Tris; props should be given to the actress who can turn such a bland character into someone you care about. The movie stuck to the storyline well, deviating at times that I felt only improved the story and made it all the more interesting to watch.

The Tris and Four romance was far more touching than in the book. I’m sorry, but you should never have a character tell another that he likes her, but that she’s really not pretty. Yeah, that happens in the book and I was outraged when I read those words. I don’t know if Veronica Roth, the author of the Divergent series, meant that to come across as sarcastic, but she failed. And it made me want to punch her. Luckily, that little tidbit was left out of the movie. (For good reason, obviously.) Here’s a suggestion: if you walk into a movie theater and see that the main audience is a bunch of teenage/pre-teen girls, GET OUT. I can’t tell you how frustrating it was to hear a bunch of giggles/screams/ooh’s and ahh’s EVERY SINGLE TIME Four, played by Theo James, came on the screen.




Honestly, girls. Get yourselves together.



Okay, I get it. I really do. 

And high fives to the writers of the screenplay for putting in some subtle bits of humor—something that was missing entirely from the book. To you, I thank you.

Long story short, Divergent was a film that pleasantly surprised me with its acting and improvements on the faulty storyline. Though they left it as though there won’t be a sequel, you better believe we’ll be seeing Four on the screen in the near future in the second-installment, Insurgent. Just steer clear of the teenage girls.

Riley McDaniel is an aspiring writer with a love for children, writing, music, and movies. She has her BFA degree in Creative Writing for Entertainment from Full Sail University and hopes to use her work to instill a love of reading and writing in others. Though she has a passion for writing, her passion for chocolate is almost just as strong.