Mar 22, 2014

[Movie] Divergent (Hunger Games?)

Thinking this was a rip-off of The Hunger Games (or at least trying to bask in its success), I approached Divergent very carefully, trying not to pre-judge it too much… and in the end, it proved worth it: while not being a good movie really, it still was entertaining enough to keep my interest all the way 'till the end… and that's a lot to say, considering the state of movie-making nowadays…

Set in a dystopian future, Divergent tells the story of five different factions of people who try to run society in a peaceful way by keeping everyone segmented (wait, I thought this wasn't copying THG?). The main star of the movie falls into more than one category, which makes her a "Divergent", someone who can't be controlled or manipulated, and thus, is a danger to society and must be eliminated. A lot of conflicts and battles ensue, people die, and the two main heroes emerge triumphant (really, this is NOT THG).

When Tris (the main character) first solves hear fear-tests using her "Divergent powers", but then does the same as someone from Dauntless would, the plot gets very entertaining, specially when you think she's out of the illusion, only to then realize she was still being tested in it. Also, the fact that she didn't turn out to be a slut (as it happens in too many of these movies) by passing up sex with Four, was definitely refreshing and, I feel, a change in the right direction for this genre of films.

The fact that the main character was made to be too similar in personality (and even looks) to the main star of The Hunger Games, was too blatant to put up with. It was like they were not even trying to hide the fact that they were making a movie which capitalizes in the success of another, to the point that probably the book this movie was based on wouldn't even have been picked up if it wasn't because of how well THG did in the box office. It was even irritating at times.

Having not read the book, I felt some characters were totally irrelevant to the plot (like Christina and Al), and some of them even useless (like Caleb, Tris' brother). Maybe they had some importance in the book, but here in the movie, they really looked just like pretty faces thrown in there just to make this film easier to market. Also, the "true romance during dystopian civil unrest" bit has been done already.. couldn't they have picked a more original concept instead?

I don't wanna say this movie was bad, since I did enjoy it a bit and it kept my interest during its entire run. Had The Hunger Games not existed, I probably would have been more positive about it, but the word "opportunistic" cannot escape my head when I think about this title. Let's hope they may be a little more creative when they release the sequel next year (not holding my breath, though).

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