By Matthew Singer | Staff Writer
Divergent, rated PG-13, is a sci-fi-thriller that straps one into his seat and takes peoples’ minds on an emotional roller coaster as they meet and explore the diverse characters in this barren and massive world. Director Neil Burger does a wonderful job telling this story of love and danger.
Divergent is a story about a young woman named Beatrice who lives with her family in a futuristic Chicago setting. When people turn 16, they must choose a faction to join, a group to permanently live with. The idea of having five factions, which are individual communities of people that are unique in what they do in their own lives, is genius.
For instance, the factions force the viewer to take a side, which brings up the ideas of enemies and alliances. It’s as if the viewer is in the faction. Therefore, the acceptance of a certain faction’s choices changes the readers view on the entire movie.
Each faction has a different purpose, whether it is being peaceful, being honest, being brave, being intelligent or being selfless. Each faction adds a unique style to the overall plot of the movie, allowing the movie to be undeniably original.
Beatrice, the main character who is a confused young adult, figures out she is a Divergent after she takes the test that all 16-year-olds must take before they decide on a faction to join. Being a Divergent means that she cannot be in just one faction. She is, in a sense, all of the factions combined. She cannot be controlled. As the story continues, Beatrice decides to join Dauntless, which is known as the brave faction that polices the city.
Before officially joining Dauntless, Beatrice must go through mind training where Four, the leader of Dauntless, must watch and see how her mind reacts when certain dangerous circumstances are simulated.
As Beatrice goes through all of the training, she realizes Erudite, the knowledgeable faction, plans to overthrow Abnegation, the selfless faction and government. Erudite’s overall plan is to kill all Divergents because of their idea that the human mind is a weapon. Erudite plans to mind-control all of Dauntless to murder all of Abnegation, which Beatrice’s feather is the head of. She and her lover Four must put an end to this plan and stop the mind-controlled Dauntless army.
The movie, in a certain sense, is perfect for a sci-fi thriller fan. The massive and barren world of Divergent is stunning. The camera angles and close-ups on people’s faces couldn’t have been better. One aspect that stood out was when the camera showed the entire city in a single shot. Every light, sound, and scenery fits right into the world of Divergent, further enhancing this new and dangerous world filled with backstabbers, murders, thieves and dictators. The addition of music made specifically for the movie, such as Ellie Goulding’s new single Beating Heart, which is calming yet suspenseful, perfectly fits into the movie, which enhances the scale and impact of the climaxes that occur.
The detailed characters in the movie stand out past every other aspect. Each character has a certain talent that is needed for a specific reason. For example, Beatrice has a mean throwing arm when it comes to knives, which will come in handy. Beatrice can control her mind better than anyone else, which means that people will search and try to kill her because she is a “danger” to all.
Four, the leader of Dauntless and Beatrice’s lover, is an experienced fighter and only has four fears. Four has been through every training exercise known and his reputation is a force to be reckoned with. Because of the diverse characteristics of each character, every death, injury or issue that occurs feels immensly personal.
Divergent cost $80 million to produce, and each dollar was put to good use. Although the cast may not be as well known when compared to some movies, they are all experienced actors, such as Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Ashley Judd and Kate Winslet.
In many movies, some scenes feel long and boring, as if one is waiting for an action scene. The number of conversations and boring dialogue is one of the few issues with the movie. Past that fact, every word spoken by a character should be memorized because every sentence said in the movie impacts the overall plot of the movie.