Divergent Screen 5 articles

Divergent

2014

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  • That the length of Shailene Woodley’s eyelashes changes throughout “Divergent” may have been amusingly distracting for a while (maybe they’re mood lashes, a friend quipped), but such shoddiness also underscores the contempt that movie companies have for the medium and the audience.

  • Off the bat, Divergent falters because the chess-board on which the pieces are moving already has too many squares, too many colours and not enough interesting pieces to make the game at all exciting or intense. Reducing the rich tapestry of the human experience into five super-broad traits just seems doomed, ridiculous and highly cynical — surely someone from Erudite would've been able to flag that one up?

  • So long as Roth's scenario focuses on Beatrice Triss attempting to adjust to her chosen family's brutish training regiment (shades of Katniss) and sincerely wondering if she hasn't made the incorrect decision, Divergent transcends the déjà vu of its borrowed trappings... But unfortunately, in doing so, the movie ironically sacrifices all momentum in favor of a long series of physical tests.

  • What if life were like high school - its cliques, "factions", Harry Potter houses not just present but mandated by society? Fun for about an hour (a person could get lost in Shailene Woodley's big brown eyes) before it lapses into tedious action, but I wish these YA adaptations made more sense.

  • Divergent shines as a romance and character study, thanks in large part to Woodley... The force of their bond carries the film through many of its rough patches, particularly in the increasingly ridiculous second half. Divergent may be a desperately, awkwardly uneven movie — but don't be surprised if you find yourself caring for these characters more than you expect.

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