Alone or in a group, “Divergent” entertains


Raider Times photo / Courtesy of Summit Entertainment

Fenced off from the unknown remains of a perished world is a population of survivors divided into factions. Survivalism depends on conformity in the alternative world portrayed in “Divergent.” This film will toy with your emotions; blood-pounding action scenes are accompanied by despairing moments, with some comic relief sprinkled throughout.

Rest assured “Divergent” is highly anticipated for a reason.

Each of the five factions is based on a human virtue. When children come of age, they take a personality exam that tells them which faction they belong to. At a choosing ceremony, every child has the freedom of choice when declaring which faction they will join, regardless of their exam results. Once in a faction, there is no leaving. Being faction-less is undesired by everyone.

Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley) receives inconclusive test results, classifying her as Divergent. This essentially means that Tris is incapable of truly fitting into only one faction. She is warned that she is a threat, and must declare a faction and remain undiscovered.

Four (Theo James) becomes Tris’s romantic interest, and unveils a conspiracy to eliminate all Divergents led by the faction leader (Kate Winslet). Four and Tris join to ascertain the reason why Divergents are so feared, and prevent further injustice in a rigidly structured world that punishes those who refuse to conform.

There’s been talk about “Divergent” being competition for the “Hunger Games” considering both series follow a strong, powerful leading lady working against governing forces for the betterment of society. Both series explore the realm of alternate realities, choosing depressing and eerie worlds where resilient regulations segregate society into distinct groups. Society is repressed in both worlds, directly by the government in “Hunger Games” and by the enforced need to conform to preserve peace in “Divergent”.

Disillusionment with the “free will” of the people and “peaceful” atmosphere of living inevitably occurs to the characters in the movies, as well as the movie viewers. Both films tastefully convey a powerful message about individuality and manipulated conformity in a corrupt society.

“Divergent” is rated PG-13 because of sensuality in certain scenes, unnerving violence, and adrenaline-pumping action. This movie’s target audience seems to be adolescents and above. The overall themes are too unsettling for younger viewers, as well as some powerful visuals (just in case you figure they’ll just be too confused to appreciate the mature topics).

Viewers, if you haven’t read the books don’t sweat it. Granted you’d probably understand the movie at a deeper level if you had, but “Divergent” is clear and thorough in terms of plot and character development. The only times you will feel confused will be purposeful, and you will understand the entirety of the plot by the end of the movie.

Fans of the book series should give the movie a shot, and those who come in with no biases will find “Divergent” to be extremely worthwhile and interesting.

–March 21, 2014–