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Movie Review: Divergent (Spoilers Version)

Directed by: Neil Burger
Starring: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Kate Winslet, Ashley Judd, Jai Courtney, Zoe Kravitz, Miles Teller

In a dystopian future, Chicago has become a walled city, completely cut-off from the outside. Here, there is peace, but only because the citizens are separated into factions, each faction representing a different characteristic and purpose of life. When children reach the age where they can choose to which faction they belong, they are administered a test to help them make their decision. This test will tell them which faction they should pledge themselves to. However, Tris is Divergent, someone who does not conform to one faction over the others. Being a Divergent places Tris in danger because there are many who see Divergents as threats to the balance of their peace. If her secret were to come out, there would be many who would not stop until she was dead.

Breakout Performer/Character: Shailene Woodley truly shines as a young woman facing difficult choices where her life is in danger for something she has no control over. Whatever Tris goes through, Ms. Woodley brings it to life so convincingly that you forget she's only acting a role.

What I Liked: Honestly, I didn't expect to like this movie much at all. I was starting to get a little bored with films based on young adult fiction. However, the story, the direction, and the actors keep you entertained longer than you would expect. Plus, the story is a satisfactory story even though this is only part one of a trilogy.

What I Didn't Like: Lately, I've grown tired with the tropes that seem to be in every story that I read or movie that I watch. Character A is thrust into a situation that they have no control over, they must survive on their own after being separated from their family, and in the end sacrifices are made to get Character A, the Hero, to that majestic conclusion and heroic deed that will be remembered forever. In Divergent, there is a lack of originality when it comes to the smaller beats of the story. When her loved ones sacrifice themselves to keep her safe, it feels so contrived and loses a little bit of the emotional impact that the sacrifices should have.

Would I Recommend Seeing It:
I would definitely recommend this movie, especially to people who enjoy fantasy/dystopian stories. This is a fun movie with a good story that entertains from start to finish.


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