Sunday, March 23, 2014

Movie Review: Divergent

Synopsis (from IMDb):

In a world divided by factions based on virtues, Tris learns she's Divergent and won't fit in. When she discovers a plot to destroy Divergents, Tris and the mysterious Four must find out what makes Divergents dangerous before it's too late.


I don't know how to write this review and do both the movie and my opinions justice. I've learned one thing after watching the movie: Some thing just doesn't necessarily translate. 

I'm going to write this review in two point of views. One is the movie watcher review. It means I will be viewing this movie as one that has never heard of anything like this movie before. Another is the book reader review, which is how I actually view the movie as a reader who has read the book.


My movie watcher side thinks that it's a well-enough plot. But the prioritizing can be done better. There are scenes where everything is just so rushed that sometimes I feel like those who haven't read the book will probably get confused. I think they should emphasize some more scenes such as... (spoiler alert!!!) Four discovering Tris being a Divergent (end of spoiler). Everything seems so subtle about this part. But overall it's good.

My reader side, however, is pretty different. I've read the book (like two years ago, come on). And I think the plot is good (because I really like the book and the movie keeps this plot just fine). The sequence of events is surprisingly good (because they keep things in order just like in the book). But the prioritizing thing is very infuriating. There is so much I wanna see that just doesn't show up on the screen. And some things are just so rushed when they shouldn't be. That's one of the main problems I have with the movie as a reader.



The movie watcher side thinks it's pretty nice. The characters are badass. And I know that they have their combat training. Like real honest-to-god combat training, which makes everything so much cooler. The dialogues are nice and smart and they get to the point real nice. The actors and actresses put a lot of effort in this movie, I can see that. My movie watcher side is pretty satisfied with that.

My reader side is not that impressed. While they're still badass, only Shailene (Tris) and Zoe (Christina) can capture the spirit of their character. It's really sad, because like I said, some things just don't necessarily translate. The dialogues are fair enough. But some of its spirit are lost. And some particular parts are missing. Sometimes I want a particular scene portrayed as closely as the book. Especially the very last scene. And the conversation between Four and Tris in the movie is completely different. 

The acting part... well, like I said, I think only Shailene and Zoe captures the spirit of their character enough to make me feel satisfied. And I'd like to discuss about Four (played by Theo James). While I can see that he has made a great effort to portray the Four in the book as close as possible, the spirit of Four is lacking. I just can't picture him as Four with my reader side. But, he still impresses me. Not just because he's really badass in the movie. But also because he portray Four well enough to give us a taste of how a complex character Four is (and Four is a really, really complex character). 



My movie watcher side thinks the setting is cool and is dying to know what's outside. Everything seems so familiar yet so futuristic at the same time. This side of me loves this part the most because the visuals are awesome.

My reader side, however -- Jesus my reader side sounds like a petulant child but I don't care because that's how I feel -- is a little weird-out. I can't judge too harshly because everyone's imagination are different. But I just can't see the Pit being the Pit. I think the Dauntless compound will be super futuristic but it's actually not, which is a little disappointing. The only part that actually fits my imagination is the Erudite headquarters. It's like something out of ParaGen in Partials. And it just fits in the spirit of Erudite perfectly. The fact that they actually shoot almost all the scenes in Chicago is very endearing (because in City of Bones they shoot a lot of scenes in Toronto but the setting is in New York). So I'd say the visuals are good enough.



Enough with the schizophrenia stuff (you know, dividing parts of my mind and stuff). If you haven't read the book, I think you will enjoy the movie. But if you have read the book... well, proceed with caution. 

I want to clarify something though. My reader side doesn't hate the movie. It just thinks that the movie doesn't do the book justice. If it's not a book adaptation, it will be quite an awesome one.

Rating: 8/10 (My movie watcher side)
Rating: 6/10 (My book reader side)

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