Divergent

Mar 23, 2014 by

After having sat through as panel member for 10 Thesis Proposals from 1 to 5.30 PM, I was already vomiting words like theoretical framework, variables, methodology. I needed some sort of divergence to get back to sanity.

Divergent has been in my movie watch-list and what better way to feel better after the proposals and my currently activated sinusitis but to snuggle in the comforts of cinema. According to IMDB:

Set in a futuristic dystopia where society is divided into five factions that each represent a different virtue, teenagers have to decide if they want to stay in their faction or switch to another – for the rest of their lives. Tris Prior makes a choice that surprises everyone. Then Tris and her fellow faction-members have to live through a highly competitive initiation process to live out the choice they have made. They must undergo extreme physical and intense psychological tests, that transform them all. But Tris has a secret that she is Divergent, which means she doesn’t fit into any one group. If anyone knew, it would mean a certain death. As she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, this secret might help her save the people she loves… or it might destroy her.

Given that premise, let me confirm your slight suspicion that there’s a whole lot of Hunger Games feel in the overall effect. In Divergent, however, director Neil Burger succeeds in fusing the right amount of drama in an obviously action-packed movie. Shailene Woodley was delicious on-screen and she fits the bill of a young woman trying to find herself in a falsely orderly world, but her mascara was just too distracting, her hair having this preset big curls were too glossed up and her acting can still be polished. The action sequences kept me on the edge of my seat and the effects used on combat-contacts were kept at a minimum (at least as per my impression), giving it a raw fight effect, so to speak.

The supporting cast was stellar. Ashley Judd, Kate Winslet, Maggie Q, Tony Goldwyn — all of whom are capable of kick-ass action but playing their roles right, it was somehow justifiable to see them support the leads. Theo James (as “Four”) generated the annoying shrieks from girls with raging hormones but he could have worked his character out better by experimenting on facial expressions other than looking straight. It is also worth mentioning that the tattoos he had on were too obviously fake.

For all its worth, Divergent is a fun movie to watch. It has a good amount of visual play, some interesting points on humanity slash human nature slash nature that a group of teenage girls would probably miss to pick up coz they’re too busy gushing over Theo James’ lips, and a feeling of wonderment how the hell that train just kept on moving and moving without telling us exactly why.

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