Divergent offers nothing new


I can’t say that I got more than I expected – which wasn’t all that much – from seeing Divergent on its opening weekend.

The highly-anticipated (and widely publicized) adaptation of George Orwell’s — oh, excuse me, Veronica Roth’s 2011 novel was released in the U.S. on March 21. The film grossed almost $5 million on opening night alone.

I won’t spoil it for you, but if you’ve read any young adult dystopian novel before, then you can probably guess what happens.

The strongest part of the entire movie was the casting. Shailene Woodley plays a convincingly tough heroine (“Tris”). She executes the part well with her clear athleticism and drive. The chemistry between her and Theo James works as well, and it’s enough to pull off a mentally intimate scene between the two.

Although the film ran for over two hours, director Neil Burger struggled to tie together romance, ideology, and action.

Some of the action sequences are sporadically excellent, such as when the rebel group is jumping over trains. Compared to the abundance of bland wide shots of desolate Chicago, these pockets of engaging originality offer the viewer a pleasant break.

Even so, the film is predictable. Being a young adult myself, I have seen more than enough coming-of-age films about self-discovery and independence. While the theme is a relevant one to adolescents, the portrayal of teens as the individualist heroes fighting the battle against their elders’ conformity is incredibly overused.

In my unprofessional opinion, this film merits a C+. Given the content the filmmakers had to work with, they did an OK job. Not terrible, but not intriguing enough to see again.