Friday, March 21, 2014
T&T Synopsis: Like most stories set in the not too distant future, the aftermath of a terrible war precipitated the need to form a new society (and who knows with the whole Putin/Crimea annexed thing, this future may not be too far off). This new society living behind a wall, which we know not what lay on the other side, decided it best to divide people up into 5 categories or Factions:
- Government - Abnegation = the act or an instance of denying oneself
- The Law - Candor = the state or quality of being frank
- Hippy Farmers - Amity = friendship; cordiality
- Military/Police - Dauntless = fearless; intrepid
- Scientists & Geeks - Erudite = learned; scholarly
Those that could fit in anywhere are called Divergents, they are considered dangerous because they can't be controlled and molded into one way of thinking. Those that don't fit in anywhere are called Factionless and they live a miserable, homeless existence, but nobody's much worried about them. I'm thinking, if you choose a faction based on your own free will, wouldn't that automatically make you a Divergent? And if this is the case, then why would Divergents need to keep the fact secret? Why would you need to hunt them down? I think the plot would work better if there were no choices. You get the serum and whatever it reveals is the Faction you now must identify with. This would be more in keeping with the theme of the movie which asks the question: Would it be a better world if societies weren't based on culture, race, economic status or religion, but rather by the type of person you are?
Shailene Woodley is perfectly cast in this movie, she's got the chops to carry a film and make you truly care about her journey. She's accessible and relatable. Her love interest Four (Theo James) is hot. He reminds me of a more intelligent Lorenzo Lamas from the Falcon Crest days.
I imagine the book shed's more light on the power struggle between the leaders of Abnegation, Tris's parents (Ashley Judd & Tony Goldwin) and Erudite, staunchly lead by Jeanine (Kate Winslet). The movies main focus is on the Dauntless camp where Tris makes friends & foes (Zoë Kravitz, Ben Lloyd-Hughes,Christian Madsen, Miles Teller, Jai Courtney) and struggles to build the skills necessary to be considered Dauntless material - the alternative being Factionless, which is compelling, and like I said, Woodley is very likeable and you're in it with her. I do wish Teller hadn't been cast in the movie. Not because I don't like him, but because it felt too wink, wink aimed at their "The Spectacular Now" past.
I was really hoping blog contrib Candi of Candi's Corner would be available to write the review for Divergent; she told me about the books long before I knew anything about the movie. She's read the complete Veronica Roth best-selling trilogy -- Divergent, Insurgent and Allegiant and she's closer to the young adult age to which the books and movie is aimed.
But alas, she couldn't make the preview screening, so... Of course, as you see, I'm perfectly capable of discussing this movie like any other, but it would have been nice to have that book to film comparison knowledge.
There's some other minor holes to the over all story, but the look and feel of the movie directed by Neil Burger is on point and for the most part, pacing felt good. I'll be looking forward to the next installment in the series - Insurgent, if for no other reason then to find out what's beyond the wall and who's driving the train!
T &T's LAMB Score: 3 outta 5
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