Divergent (Film review formative) (Opinion of the movie (strengths and…
Divergent (Film review formative)
Based on a novel by Veronica Roth
Dystopian Chicago - society divided into five factions
Beatrice Prior (Shailene Woodley) is divergent and according to the rest of society, she's dangerous. When she picks the faction of warriors and changes her name to Tris, she quickly realizes that getting through a highly competitive initation process alive will become increasingly difficult. Especially if she wants to keep her secrets intact. With the help of Four (Theo James), Tris' instructor and a man with secrets of his own, the two uncover a plot to eradicate divergents and Tris' home faction and they're the only ones who can stop it.
Opinion of the movie (strengths and weakness w/ specific examples)
Overall, very well done and I enjoyed it.
I enjoy dystopian fiction because there's always the possibility that our society could become like that in the future and I think it's really fascinating.
The beginning is VERY slow going (up until the choosing ceremony where the pacing evens itself out)
I wish the producers included more scenes from the book. When looking at the deleted scenes, some of the most inspiring and important scenes from the book were included in there (including when Edward gets stabbed in the eye which is important for character development for Tris).
The soundtrack for the movie helped to enhance the themes of the movie and evoke feelings that wouldn't have been felt otherwise.
Example: While Tris waits to take her aptitude test, she witnesses the Dauntless faction jumping from the moving train with high energy. During this part, the bucket drumming section of 'Run Boy Run' by Woodkid plays very noticeably in the foreground. The scene coupled with the music gave me the feeling that even I could jump from a moving train if I wanted to.
Character development for both the main protagonists and minor characters is balanced and noticeable.
Example: A minor antagonist named Peter showed his true colors as an antagonist towards Tris as soon as he was introduced. However, throughout the movie (especially at the end) he kept flipping sides and it was unclear what side he was really on. Furthermore, Tris began the movie as a quiet and plain 'Stiff' from Abnegation who struggled to stand up for herself but throughout the movie she progressively becomes a warrior and becomes someone that everyone underestimates.
Pacing for the fight scenes aren't too fast-paced or too-slow. Pacing is important in an action movie because if it's too fast, the viewer won't know what is going on and if it's too slow, it won't be worth watching.
The videography of Divergent had it's ups and downs throughout the movie.
Example (THE GOOD): the pan around Tris while the Dauntless jump off the train is very satisfying and contributes to the feeling of energy and adrenaline that the soundtrack provides. When Tris ziplines over the city, the camera looks down on her and the city and the angle coupled with the drawn out strings instrumental, makes the scene serene but still with enough energey to keep the audience engaged.
Example (THE BAD BUT IMPROVED): In the beginning of the movie, the still camera angles are VERY jumpy. Everytime a new character speaks the camera jumps. When the Prior family is talking in their dining room, there is a lot of times where Tris and her brother, Caleb, cut each other off and interrupt each other which causes the camera to switch between the two before the viewer has even realized who they're looking at. However, this issue improves considerably after the choosing ceremony.