Monday 24 March 2014

Divergent: Geek Girls Movie Review

by Jordan Danger and MJ Baker

MJ and I are huge fans of dystopic fictional novels. We also read both The Hunger Games  and Divergent before there was talk of movie deals. Of course, like all bibliophiles, we were concerned about how these two movies would turn out. And given their similarities in genre, it’s impossible not to compare the two a little bit. So let me just start by saying: the film adaptation of Divergent kicked Hunger Games’ ass.

In a very tiny nutshell, Divergent is about a post-apocalyptic world where all the survivors are fenced within what remains of Chicago. Everyone is divided into five sections called factions; each one is known for a different quality or trait. A special test is administered to determine one’s faction, but for Beatrice, a young woman from the political faction, the test is inconclusive and she is deemed ‘divergent’. She chooses a new faction, and finds herself in a Fight Club-esque/GI Jane/Lord of the Flies type world.


1. Beatrice (‘Tris’) from Divergent is a way cooler, more empowered and appropriate role model for the new wave of ‘girl power’ heroines we are seeing.

2. Despite dumbing down the violence by at least 60%, the movie managed to keep most of the ‘feel’ of the book.

3. It’s harder to really lose yourself in what’s happening because, unlike the book, there’s no running monologue. But that was our complaint about Hunger Games, as well. If you hadn’t read the book, you were probably pretty confused on what parts of Katniss’ romance with Peeta were faked or real. The loss of monologue isn’t as jarring in Divergent, but it still leads us to say, GO READ THE BOOK.

4. In MJ’s words, “If the book was a river you were panning for gold in, the movie version managed to keep all the crucial nuggets.”

5. Once more about the violence: while we understand movie makers want to appeal to the younger crowd with a movie like this, the violence was really, really dumbed down; and sometimes, like in both Hunger Games and Divergent, that violence serves a purpose in building empathy, understanding, and motivation. So we’re a little disappointed with the PG-ifying of these books.


Totally worth seeing twice, and we’re both going home to reread the second book.

1 comment:

  1. Better than The Twilight Saga but never as good as The Hunger Games, instead, more of a replicate of that wonderful franchise. Good review Jordan.


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