‘Divergent’ well-acted but ultimately listless adaptation of Veronica Roth’s best-seller

FFCC member Reuben Pereira reviews the first installment in Veronica Roth’s best-selling YA series, Divergent.


The last 12 months haven’t exactly been kind to films based on young adult fantasy novels. With the exception of The Hunger Games & its vastly superior sequel Catching Fire, everything from The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones and Vampire Academy toThe Host and Beautiful Creatures has bombed. But this hasn’t stopped the suits in Hollywood from green-lighting upcoming YA fantasy adaptations like The Giver andThe Maze Runner because unlike big budget catastrophes like John Carter and The Lone Ranger, these movies come cheap, or at least relatively cheap. The real question though is how long will this trend sustain itself until subgenre fatigue starts to set in? How long will it be until audiences throw their hands up and scream, “Enough!”? Going by the well-acted but middling adaptation of Divergent, the first book in Veronica Roth’s best-selling trilogy of dystopian science fiction novels, it won’t be long.

Set in a futuristic Chicago that recalls the Windy City left in ruins by the transformers at the end of Transformers: Dark of the MoonDivergent centers on a society divided into five factions: Amity, Abnegation, Candor, Erudite and Dauntless. A quick browse through a thesaurus will give you an idea of what the dominant character traits of the people classified into these groups are but for modern-day comparisons’ sake, let’s run through them: if you’re a pot-smoking hippie with an affinity for Bob Marley (and farming), you end up in Amity; If you’re of the “I cannot tell a lie” variety, it’s off to Candor you go; Erudite will be your future home if you’re one of those obnoxious know-it-alls; All the gun-toting, protein shake gulping, brain dead lunatics are lumped together in Dauntless; and for the pious God-fearing bunch – you’ll all be safe and sound in Abnegation.

Continue reading at Film Frontier.

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