fiction films set in a bleak future are not my cup of tea. So this was
not a film I was eagerly anticipating. As a result I was pleasantly
surprised to find this to be as advertised, a good action-adventure film
that held my interest to the end.
Directed by Neil Burger from a screenplay by Evan Daugherty and Vanessa
Taylor based on the best-selling novel by Veronica Roth, the story is
set in Chicago, where it was filmed on location. Society is divided into
five factions, Dauntless, Abnegation, Erudite, Amity, and Candor. People
must choose their faction when they are teenagers and they are stuck
with it for the rest of their lives. Tris (Shailene Woodley) finds out
that she is a Divergent, which is a person who does not fit into any
happens in about the first 15 minutes of the film and the rest is a
tense story about her training to become a member the faction she
chooses and what happens when she doesnít really fit in.
want to tell the story because itís far more entertaining to see it as
it unfolds instead of reading about it and then going to see the film
after you basically know what to anticipate. The cast consists of a lot
of people Iíve not seen before, except for Ashley Judd, who plays Trisís
mother, and Kate Winslet, who enters the film at the end in what is
basically a cameo even though she plays one of the key characters in the
most science fiction movies, a lot of the effectiveness and
believability depends on the capabilities of the director of photography
and the production designer, Alwin H. KŁchler and Andy Nicholson,
respectively. Nicholson does an amazing job creating what Chicago would
look like 150 years from now after a 100 year war. Some of it was
damaged but some of it remains standing and it is now encircled by a
filmed many of his scenes on the streets of Chicago, so there are
several recognizable parts of the city in the movie like the Hancock
building, the elevated trains, the Sears Tower, Lake Michigan, Navy pier
and the Ferris Wheel. The result is a future that is realistic and
believable in terms of location shots.
acting is very good. Even though it is carried by Woodley and James, the
supporting players contribute a lot. Standing out above the fine
supporting performances is Jai Courtney as Eric, who goes out of his way
to give Tris a hard time.
criticism is the ending and this paragraph might contain a spoiler.
Films lose their credibility when they have one or two people taking on
what looks like huge numbers of people and have their bullets always
find the targets but the other thousands of bullets shot at them going
awry. Burger would have been well advised to have had an ending that
doesnít shake the filmís credibility to the breaking point. I still came
out of the film feeling rewarded, but the absurdity of the Hollywood
ending left a bad taste in my mouth.