Yesterday, March 29 2014, I went with someone else who enjoyed the book Divergent, and we saw the movie at the theatres. This article will be different from what I usually write. The essence of this post is to get my thoughts down and out there to readers. I’m not trying to analyze this film or talk about adaptions. I’m just here to gush and gripe. I reviewed the first two books of the trilogy (Divergent and Insurgent), and for the price of the ticket and some popcorn, the money was well worth it.
Major spoilers ahead!
The film had some amazing scenes of the city. It really gave me a sense of what the city looks like. I can’t recall if I had the feeling that this is what the city looked like in the first book.
The factions are more segregated than I expected. Their clothes made it really stand out. The picture I have below is when they are standing in the faction lines, so yes, it is obvious, but there were scenes of these clustered colours moving through the streets that were neat to look at. Except in the beginning of the film, I swear I saw a woman with an orange shirt and a blue/white dress.
Story wise, the key moments are there. It is the small details that were left out. These small details pile up to a noticeable mountain, but the main idea of the story is still there.
The small differences:
- Beatrice’s mother does not tell her daughter that she was Divergent too.
- Christina and Will are not in a relationship, or at least they had not made it public knowledge.
- There was no day that the parents could come see the initiates.
- Tris doesn’t have a victory in the fighting ring against Molly or anyone.
- Peter barely leaves any marks on Tris after their fight.
- Al doesn’t like like Tris.
- Tris has to find different ways to defeat her fear landscapes to keep her Divergence hidden.
- During capture the flag, they use darts that simulate the real pain of being shot instead of paint balls.
- Tris doesn’t get her towel removed by Peter and his lackeys.
- Abnegation families hug and let their kids talk at the table.
- Tris only got the bird tattoos, nothing more.
- Four never tells Tris why his name is Four.
- Dauntless HQ is smooth grey stone, not black rough stone.
- Jeanine (Kate Winslet) shows up all the time. Hey, you have a job to do, stop hanging around so Tris can “accidentally” bump into you all the time.
|Go away, Jeanine.|
The big differences:
- The butter knife incident is gone! (But you can see the deleted scene on youtube)
- Peter is just annoying and a little mean about her former faction.
- Tris and Four don’t have a lot of time together. Then suddenly Tris tells Four that she loves him. Maybe she like likes him, but love?
- Tris doesn’t identify that Peter was one of the men who assaulted her. When she shoots him later, I couldn’t help but think she’s overreacting to someone who was just a jerk to her.
- The sexual aspect of the assault isn’t obvious. Her shirt is torn at her chest, but she doesn’t actively say or imply that it was sexual. In the book, they grab at her chest.
- When Tris lost to Peter in the ring, she was cut from Dauntless. What the hell movie?
- Tris got the flag for Dauntless; there was no conflict with Christina.
- The ending had a fight between Jeanine and Tris.
Note: Very few people understand about how I feel about the removal of the butter knife incident. It portrays Peter as the psychopath that he is, and Edward is somewhat important in the second book.
Note: Four tells Tris that you can’t change your name once you make up a new one in the net. Except that he must have, because he didn’t know he only had Four fears until his fear landscape training, several weeks into initiation.
Update September 13, 2014
After some thought, a concern I had with this film was how well this film told its story to people who hadn't read the book(s). Cinema Sins made a video about the "sins" of the film, from the perspective from someone who hadn't read the books. I can definitely see where the audience who read all the books filled in the information gaps in the film, but the rest of the audience would be confused. Below is the video (but be warned, he uses crude language and occasionally adult humour: