Exploring Cinema: Divergent

Oh Orange Wednesdays; how we love you. No but for real, £7 for a ticket? Are you crasszy? Regardless of the over priced tickets, the cinema is definitely one of our favourite places to go and because film is one of our main hobbies we're starting something new - Exploring Cinema!!

So this week we went to go and see Divergent. If we're being honest it was because there was nothing else interesting on and hey maybe all the YouTube sponsored videos go into our subconscious but we actually liked it!

Shailene Woodley plays the protagonist, Tris. Her performance was very good, we'd never heard of her before this role but I think we were both pleasantly surprised. Shailene came across as strong and a realistic and beliavable character. She definitely outshone her on-screen brother Ansel Elgort who just seemed dead behind the eyes! (Apologies to any Ansel fans but he just wasn't cutting it!) We found his acting very unconvincing and instead, we were transfixed only by his voluminous hair... Theo James was the token eye candy of the film playing Four, not much to say really! Gave the audience unrealistic expectations of relationships and broke up the 2 and a half hour marathon with his muscle shots, this is all cool with us. A surprising disappointment was Kate Winslet. For a villain she just wasn't intimidating or scary, kind of like that auntie everyone has, who tries to intimidate you but you don't care? Just us?
Well anyway, she just wasn't making us feel any fear. Perhaps boredom though. We would have liked to see her get a little bit more nasty or aggressive rather than trying to keep this calm approach that was supposed to be unnerving but just.. wasn't.

We don't want to give too much away and IMDb just has a way with words so here's the loose plot outline: In a world divided by factions based on virtues, Tris learns she's Divergent and won't fit in. When she discovers a plot to destroy Divergents, Tris and the mysterious Four must find out what makes Divergents dangerous before it's too late. Let's just say at this point we haven't read the books so we had no expectations going in. The plot is interesting, definitely reminiscent of the Hunger Games with the dystopian future, one girl will change everything (potentially).

Here's where it goes wrong for me. The factions would account for like 40% of the population at a push, I mean look at them:

  • Abnegation (The Selfless)
  • Erudite (The Intelligent)
  • Dauntless (The Brave) 
  • Amity (The Peaceful)
  • Candor (The Honest)
I can think of maybe four people who I could categorise into these very limited groups and almost everyone would want to be in Dauntless! Also, why didn't they rebuild the derelict buildings if it's a high functioning, futuristic society? The film was entertaining, albeit a little too long but they really did not develop the characters or parts of the plot. As our friend Tom put it: "From that film I can only remember Tris's name. They didn't really develop any of her friends or anything." What was the war they kept talking about? What caused it? Who was fighting? Why did only Chicago survive?


The scenes of the infiltration of the Abnegation's homes were unnerving for us. Maybe it's because we studied history but there were some undeniable parallels with invasions and particularly the atrocities of World War two. The genocide of the innocent Abnegations was more than a little uncomfortable to say the least and whilst effectively acted, may leave audiences a bit shaken.


Overall, it was good. Definitely worth a watch if you want to go to the cinema and there's nothing much on. The plot had potential and was relatively explored but we were just left wanting more! Shaileene Woodley's performance made up for it though.
We'd give it a:
6.75/10 (Grace said 6.5, Charlotte said 7)