Divergent – Directed by Neil Burger
Release Date – April 10th 2014.
Billed as the new Hunger Games, this sci-fi thriller set in Chicago in a post apocalyptic future looks smart and stylish.
I saw this film almost a month before it’s release and in that time I’ve forgotten much about it. It’s one of those movies that’s enjoyable enough to watch, and you get a sense of it being about something deep and meaningful, but when pressed to recall specifics, it’s a bit muddy.
Neil Burger gave us a wonderful film in 2011’s Limitless, and he’s delivered a decent effort this time around.
Unfortunately by following several generations of Sci-Fi epics about class and society and young people’s place in them, including recent blockbuster series like The Hunger Games, Divergent strikes chords, but doesn’t stick in your head.
Shailene Woodley plays Tris, a young woman on the verge of choosing which of five factions she will commit to be part of for the rest of her life.
The factions represent different human traits including Erudite (smart & logical), Amity (kind & peaceful), Candour (honest), Dauntless (fearless) and the faction Tris was born into – Abnegation (selfless).
Pressure from her parents to continue the family line makes her choice of factional commitment all the more difficult.
The other factor making her decision fraught with peril is the fact that she is actually “Divergent” – not inclined overwhelmingly to any one faction, but rather made up of all five qualities.
Once aligned in her chosen faction, Tris uncovers a plot to destroy all Divergents, and she can no longer trust anyone enough to share her secret with them.
Following in the footsteps of the book series Twilight, the Hunger Games, and Harry Potter, the story hits all the right notes for adolescents, including issues about romance, control, non-conformity and identity puzzles, and the abundance of decent action keeps the pace moving.
The right film for a first date for teenagers, and a sure fire hit for the school holidays.
3 & 1/2 Stars.